Pollutants at work places.

A person may be exposed to benzene in an industry for example in a Petroleum Company. This is because benzene occurs naturally in crude oil. Also chemical companies involved in the production of toluene, xylene and other aromatic can expose one to benzene. There are numerous health effects related to exposure to benzene. Its exposure may cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors and also possible loss of consciousness. Benzene also causes eye and skin irritation. The international Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified benzene as being carcinogenic to human beings. Also it is known to reduce the rate at which red and white blood cells are produced from the bone marrow which results in aplastic anaemia. Safe exposure to benzene is when it is contained in liquid mixtures which contain less than 0.5 percent of concentration of benzene by volume. Potential controls include promoting the use of alternative solvents in industrial processes and also implementation of policies and legislation to remove benzene from consumer products.
2. Occupational health standards establishes the requirements for employers so as to control exposure to Methylene Chloride. The company should ensure that permissible exposure limits are maintained of 25 parts Methylene Chloride per million parts of air for an eight hour time weighted average. Also the employees must have access to respiratory protection. In addition, the areas that are hazardous must be well marked out and employees alerted of such areas and the number of employees exposed should be minimized as much as is possible. These area must also be restricted access areas and those accessing be given respiratory protection gear for example respirators. In these areas chewing gum, smoking, eating and drinking should be prohibited. I would also ensure that employees working in such area know what they are exposed to and they also understand the hazards associated with its exposure. Material safety data sheets would also be used to inform employees of what they were working with.

– Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)- John. L Henshaw.
– World Health Organisation report on preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments, Exposure to Benzene

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