Individuals employed in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of benzene. These industries include benzene production (petrochemicals, petroleum refining, and coke and coal chemical manufacturing), rubber tire manufacturing, and storage or transport of benzene and petroleum products containing benzene. Other workers who may be exposed to benzene because of their occupations include steel workers, printers, rubber workers, shoe makers, laboratory technicians, firefighters, and gas station employees. The following references provide information about the management of occupational exposures to benzene.
- Chemical Sampling Information. OSHA. Presents, in concise form, data on a large number of chemical substances that may be encountered in industrial hygiene investigations. Basic reference for industrial hygienists engaged in OSHA field activity.
- OSHA Occupational Chemical Database. OSHA maintains this chemical database as a convenient reference for the occupational safety and health community. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. This database originally was developed by OSHA in cooperation with EPA.
- Benzene (C6H6). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Provides medical management guidelines for acute and chronic exposure evaluation of benzene.
OSHA has developed and validated methods for use by the Salt Lake Technical Center Laboratory. The following standard methods have been adopted by many laboratories for the analysis of chemical compounds.
- Benzene. Method 1005, (September 2002). Covers active sampling charcoal tubes as well as the passive monitors from SKC 575-002 and 3M 3520 badges.
- Organic Vapors. Method 07, (May 2000). Covers determination of benzene in workplace air. With slight modification, this method is a generalized version of validated NIOSH methodology.
- Benzene. Method 12, (August 1980). Covers the validated sampling and analysis method for the determination of benzene in workplace air.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM). NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc.
Exposure to benzene is controlled by limiting evaporation and preventing splashes and spills. Where exposures may occur, the preferred controls are engineering controls such as the use of hoods, canopies, and proper ventilation coordinated with the use of personal protective equipment. For instances where engineering controls are not feasible, respirators and similar personal protective equipment may be used. The following references provide possible solutions for benzene hazards in the workplace.
- Process Safety Management. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page. Provides references that aid in the safe management of hazardous chemicals, including benzene.
- Emergency Preparedness and Response. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page. Outlines procedures to be used in emergency situations.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-149, (September 2007). Provides a physical description, exposure limits, measurement method, personal protection and sanitation, first aid, respirator recommendations, exposure routes, symptoms, target organs, and cancer sites.
- Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) No. 81-123, (January 1981). Contains information on identification, physical and chemical properties, health hazards, exposure limits, exposure sources and control methods, monitoring, personal hygiene, storage, spills and leaks, and personal protective equipment.
- For additional information on general safety and health concerns, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages on: