Occupational Exposure of Gasoline Station Workers to BTEX Compounds in Bangkok, Thailand

T Tunsaringkarn, W Siriwong, A Rungsiyothin, S Nopparatbundit

Abstract


Background: Gasoline station workers are exposed to volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX).

Objectives: To determine the level of exposure to BTEX compounds among gasoline station workers and measure the roadside concentrations of these compounds in the inner and outer areas of Bangkok, Thailand.

Methods: 49 workers at 6 gasoline stations in the inner and outer areas of Bangkok participated in this study. Samples of ambient air were collected from the area near gas pumps at each station and at the roadside in front of the gas stations by charcoal tubes. All samples were analyzed for BTEX compounds by gas chromatography-flame ionized detector (GC-FID).

Results: The mean BTEX concentration in gas stations was slightly higher than that of the roadside; there was no significant difference in the concentration between inner and outer areas. The mean lifetime cancer risks for workers exposed to benzene and ethylbenzene for 30 years were estimated at 1.75×10–4 and 9.55×10–7. The estimated hazard quotients for BTEX compounds were 0.600, 0.008, 0.007 and 0.002, respectively. The most prevalent symptoms of workers were headache (61%), fatigue (29%) and throat irritation (11%), respectively. Exposure to benzene and toluene was significantly associated with fatigue (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Exposure to BTEX compounds would increase the risk of cancer in gasoline station workers. Exposure to benzene and toluene may cause fatigue.


Keywords


Benzene; Toluene; Ethylbenzene; Xylene; Gasoline; Risk; Occupational




 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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