Benzene

Evaluating Exposure

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.

  • Benzene (C6H6). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Provides medical management guidelines for acute and chronic exposure evaluation of benzene.
Sampling and Analysis

OSHA

  • OSHA Occupational Chemical Database. OSHA's premier one-stop shop for occupational chemical information. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. Information available on the pages includes chemical identification and physical properties, exposure limits, sampling information, and additional resources.
  • Sampling and Analytical Methods. OSHA. Provides an alphabetical listing of chemicals that have either a validated or partially validated OSHA method.
    • Benzene. Method 1005, (September 2002). Covers active sampling charcoal tubes as well as the passive monitors from SKC 575-002 and 3M 3520 badges.

For additional information, see OSHA's Sampling and Analysis Safety and Health Topics Page.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Possible Solutions

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.