Benzene is a colorless, highly flammable liquid with a sweet odor. It is used throughout various industries to create other chemicals, such as styrene and cumene, and is used in the manufacturing of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, and pesticides. This substance is also emitted from products that contain it, such as glues, plaints, and furniture wax.
Benzene can be released into the atmosphere from industrial processes, gas stations, refining operations, hazardous waste sites, landfills, and manufacturing sites. It may also be released through the burning of coal and oil, motor vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks, and other sources.
According to the ATSDR, if exposed to this substance, many factors can determine the health effects that may be presented. These factors include a person’s work, age, sex, lifestyle, and state of health, as well as the exposure level, the duration, and the source. Scientists report that exposure to lower levels can cause drowsiness dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. However, exposure to high levels can result in cancer or death.
According to the ATSDR, the industries and occupations that are likely to be exposed to high levels include benzene production, rubber tire manufacturing, storage or transport of benzene products, printers, rubber workers, shoe makers, laboratory technicians, firefighters, gas station employees, and oven workers in the steel industry.
Within these industries, gas detection equipment in-place can assist in monitoring and mitigating benzene levels throughout the atmosphere in which personnel are being exposed. ION Science offers a range of gas detection equipment capable of accurately monitoring and displaying real-time data of present levels, such as the Tiger Select handheld benzene detector, the Cub TAC personal benzene detector, and the Titan fixed benzene detector.
For more information on our products for use within your industry, contact ION Science.