Study on the Short Term Exposure Level (STEL) of the Benzene for the Tank Lorry Truck Drivers during Loading Process
Some of the petroleum products contain benzene which is well known as a confirmed human carcinogen. For example, gasoline products contain benzene ranging up to several percents by weight. High exposures to the benzene and other organic solvents would be likely to occur during intermittent tasks and or processes rather than continuous jobs such as sampling, repair, inspection, and loading/unloading jobs. The work time for these jobs is various. However, most of work time is very short and the representative time interval is 15 minutes. Thus, it is preferable to do exposure assessment for 15 minute time weighted average which is known as a short time exposure level(STEL) by ACGIH rather than for 8-hours TWA. It is particularly significant to the exposure monitoring for benzene since it has been known that the exposure rate plays an important role to provoke the leukemia. Due to the large variations, a number of processes/tasks, the traditional sampling technique for organic solvents with the use of the charcoal and sampling pumps is not appropriate. Limited number of samples can be obtained due to the shortage of sampling pumps. Passive samplers can eliminate these limitations. However, low sampling rates resulted in collection of small amount of the target analysts in the passive samplers. This is originated the nature of passive samplers. Field applications were made with use of passive samplers to compare with the charcoal tube methods for 15 minutes. Gasoline loading processes to the tank lorry trucks at the loading stations in the petroleum products storage area. Good agreements between the results of passive samplers and those of the charcoal tubes were achieved. However, it was found that special cautions were necessary during the analysis at very low concentration levels.
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