Vehicle exhaust is one of the leading causes of air pollution. And, as you know, pollution has adverse health effects not only on human beings but all living creatures as well. One of the components that vehicle exhaust consists of is benzene, a well-recorded pollutant known for causing many different health problems, including aplastic anemia and cancer.
Knowing what benzene can cause, high-risk individuals can help mitigate the long-term negative health effects of exposure to this automobile engine combustion byproduct.
Where exposure usually occurs
Exposure to benzene is usually an occupational hazard, but it can also occur in a residential setting. Using benzene-containing products, such as solvents, adhesives, and motor fuels can expose an individual to this pollutant. All in all, exposure typically occurs through inhalation.
Industrial applications and processes
Because benzene naturally occurs in crude petroleum within levels of up to 4 g/l, certain industrial applications and processes involving the use of petroleum can result in an exposure. Examples include petroleum product processing methods, coal coking, toluene production, and aromatic compound production (like xylene).
Exposure can also occur during the manufacturing of industrial and consumer products using benzene as a form of chemical intermediate. Companies that have processes using petrol and heating oils also produce benzene putting employees at risk of exposure.
Automobile exhaust: Biggest contributor to benzene production
Vehicle exhaust is the largest contributor to the production and emission of benzene in the environment. Individuals who work in car manufacturing companies, testing facilities, and repair shops are those at the highest risk of benzene exposure, due to exhaust they may inhale every single day.
Minimizing the risk of benzene exposure
Due to the severity of the effects of benzene exposure, organizations should employ every technology possible to minimize the risk of benzene exposure of their employees. The proper and comprehensive exhaust extraction systems can help minimize the risk of exposure.