Occupational Exposure to Benzene a Global Concern
Last month, Apple made the news once again, but this time it was not for the introduction of their latest consumer electronics. Instead, Apple announced that they had updated their restrictions to explicitly prohibit the use of benzene in the final assembly processes at their facilities.
Benzene is widely used across the globe as well as in the United States and ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor that readily evaporates into the air and dissolves slightly in water. Benzene has many applications and can be used to make other chemicals which are then used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and other synthetic fibers. It is also used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. Benzene is also a component of crude oil, gasoline and even cigarette smoke.
Breathing very high levels of benzene can result in death, while high levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion and unconsciousness. The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood, causing harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
“Workers are at risk of being exposed to benzene in industries that make or use the chemical,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The seriousness of a worker’s reaction to benzene exposure depends on the amount, route and length of time of exposure. A person’s age and any pre-existing medical conditions can also be a factor. At EMSL, we provide the analytical services and sampling supplies to test work environments for benzene and other hazardous chemicals to protect workers and the environment.”
EMSL has sponsored a video about exposure risks to benzene in the home and at work that can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqByUP13-Hk.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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- Contact Information
- Joseph Frasca
- Senior Vice President of Marketing
- EMSL Analytical, Inc.
- (1) (856) 303-2503
- Contact via E-mail
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