Have you considered whether your workers may be at risk from exposure to benzene? While benzene is associated with the extraction and refining of crude oil, there are many industries in which benzene might be found In fact, benzene is one of the 20 most commonly used chemicals in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Benzene can be found in automotive exhaust, plastics, detergents, wastewater, rubbers and dyes, just to name a few examples.
While benzene is common in consumer products, exposure to the chemical through the air and water can have disastrous consequences on your workers’ health. Workers in manufacturing, automotive repair and waste management are all at higher risk of benzene exposure. This is why benzene testing is vital for workplace safety.
What health problems can be caused by benzene exposure?
Studies have shown that inhalation and consumption of benzene can result in health complications. Some of these include:
- Irritation — Benzene is considered a mild irritant of the skin and eyes. Exposure to benzene can cause redness and blisters on the skin.
- Headaches — Head pain, drowsiness and dizziness are symptoms of benzene exposure. Continual exposure can lead to unconsciousness.
- Cognitive impairment — One widely reported symptom of benzene exposure is a state of confusion. This often happens alongside drowsiness, and is often followed by unconsciousness.
- Cancer — Studies show that chronic exposure to benzene can cause leukemia as well as other cancers related to the blood cells.
- Aplastic anemia — Benzene can harm the bone marrow in our bodies and can cause a decrease in red blood cells. This can lead to excessive bleeding as well as a weakened immune system.
- Reproductive issues — Long-term exposure to benzene has been linked to reproductive harm in females. This includes a decline in ovarian health and fetal health in pregnant women.
No company wants their workers to develop these or any other benzene-related health problems. Fortunately, such problems can be avoided by doing regular benzene testing in your workplace.
How can benzene testing protect my workers from the dangers of benzene exposure?
Routine benzene testing in the work environment is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your workers. Both the air and water of a work site can become contaminated by benzene. Testing both on a regular basis is necessary to make sure that your workers are not being exposed to the chemical in dangerous amounts.
Basin Safety’s comprehensive benzene testing gives you an accurate map of possible exposure sites in your work area. This information can help you mitigate possible risks to employee health and keep your facilities within federal and local regulations. Our engineering team gives you access to real-time testing data via our BaSS data management platform, giving you ample opportunity to use testing data to your advantage.
Contact Basin Safety today for more information on our benzene testing and other field services, in addition to workplace safety training, equipment services, and consultation services.