Toxic benzene even at very low dose

Even low doses of benzene can lead to decreased production of white blood cells and blood platelets in humans, according to a Chinese-American study. 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, which is found everywhere (tires, drugs, gasoline, etc.). In the United States, legislation in 1987, implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), imposes a benzene threshold in business of one part per million. However, the work published in the journal Science underlines that even below
This limit, benzene has an effect on blood cells. Chinese and American researchers followed for 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 below a rate of one part per million. These results immediately gave rise to requests to revise the standards defined by OSHA. The organization's officials, meanwhile, said they would examine the new data very carefully. At the last census in 1987, more than 200 Americans were regularly exposed to benzene. NYT 000/04/12 (Broad study suggests a lower tolerance for exposure to benzene)

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

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