The toxic benzene even at very low doses


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According to a Sino-US study, benzene even at low doses can lead to a decrease in the production of white blood cells and platelets in humans. We have long known about the harmful effects of benzene on the body and that is why standards have been established to limit the levels of this molecule found everywhere (tires, drugs, gasoline, etc.). In the United States, 1987 legislation, introduced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), imposes a benzene threshold of one part per million in the company. But the works published in the journal Science underline that even below
this limit, benzene has an effect on blood cells. Chinese and American researchers have followed during 16 months two groups of handlers in China, one exposed to benzene,
the other no. In the former, they were able to record a drop in blood cell formation at a rate of one part per million. These results immediately led to requests for revision of the standards defined by OSHA. The organization's leaders said they would examine the new data with great care. At the last 1987 census, more than 200 000 Americans were regularly exposed to benzene. NYT 04 / 12 / 04 (Broad study suggests a lower tolerance for exposure to benzene)

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/04/science/04benzene.html

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