Bumping into Benzene

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I have spent the majority of my career working on heavily contaminated sites. In fact every site I go to always happens to be, “the most contaminated site in the southern-hemisphere”. It seems that we are getting dirtier and dirtier. Due to that I nearly always end up finding a nasty chemical called benzene. It’s particularly nasty as it causes cancer – specifically acute myeloid leukaemia. Not something you want to get wrong.

So as part of this I have an interest in reading scientific journals about Benzene in my spare time. I know – you are right to be jealous of my social life. Just over three years ago I came across a paper on benzene exposure in during tunnelling through a contaminated land site in the UK. I was so excited that I had actually found something relevant to the work I was doing I did a little ‘hygiene’ dance. Similar to Gangnam style…only more awesome.

Anyway, long-story short: the study demonstrated that it was possible to work in an environment containing high concentrations of benzene as long as the appropriate controls were effectively utilised. It also demonstrated the importance of biological monitoring. That paper was written by a lady named Kate Jones of the Health and Safety Laboratory.

And guess what? I get to meet her tomorrow!

…hygiene dance in progress…

5 thoughts on “Bumping into Benzene

    jane said:
    April 2, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I’m dancing too!!! How wonderful and all because you did your reseatrch before you did the job!

      katecole111 responded:
      April 2, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Thanks Jane I love your comments!

    Garry G said:
    April 2, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Perhaps Kate may be able to estimate the quantitative dermal absorption of benzene vapour?

      katecole111 responded:
      April 2, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Garry you are right on the money!!

    […] Kate is a #hygienegod when it comes to biological monitoring. For those not familiar with biological monitoring, it involves collecting a biological sample from a worker of eg: blood, urine or breath. It assesses all routes of exposure, which includes what you breathe in, what you ingest, and what gets absorbed through the skin. […]

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