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J Occup Health year 2001 volume 43 number 1 page 53 - 55
Classification Field Study
Title Exposure to Benzene among Workers in a Petroleum Transport Company
Author Irene FIGA`-TALAMANCA1 and Elio Antonio SALERA2
Organization 1Dip. to Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Universit_ di Roma "La Sapienza", 2Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, Italy
Keywords Benzene, Biological monitoring, Transport workers
Correspondence I. Fig_-Talamanca, Dip.to Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Universit_ di Roma "La Sapienza", Pl.e A. Moro, 5 00185 Roma, Italy
Abstract Exposure to Benzene among Workers in a Petroleum Transport Company: I. FIGA`-TALAMANCA, et al. Dip.to Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Universit_ di Roma "La Sapienza"-The paper reports on the environmental and biological monitoring of a group of 25 male petroleum transport workers. Environmental benzene exposure was monitored through personal sampling devices during one eight hour shift. Biological monitoring involved measurement of benzene and its metabolite trans, trans muconic acid in the urine at the beginning and at the end of the shift on a Monday and again on a Friday. The mean air concentration of benzene detected in the breathing zone of workers exceeded the threshold limit values (TLV) of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH) (TLV=1.6 mg/m3) for workers supervising the loading operations of autocisterns. The values observed among the drivers of multiple autocisterns were just below the TLV, whereas those of the drivers of single cisterns were definitely below the TLV. The biological monitoring revealed that the excretion of benzene increases as exposure increases during the work shift, and reaches the highest concentrations at the end of the work week. The excessive exposure of loading supervisors and drivers of multiple cisterns was also confirmed by the findings of the biological monitoring.