Benzene exposure hazards - Measuring gas to reduce risks for benzene carcinogens and hazards

Benzene exposure hazards

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Benzene is carcinogenic

The process industry is well aware of this fact – benzene is a dangerous, group 1 carcinogen that can cause leukaemia and lymphoma. As it is an important basic material, however, benzene hazards in the industry cannot always be avoided. This is why occupational benzene exposure limits are set at a strict low level. Precise measurement with dedicated benzene detectors and regular benzene exposure testing are crucial to the safety of industrial workers. PPE must be worn when working in an environment with a risk of benzene exposure.

Benzene – an indispensable basic material in the chemical industry

Benzene is used as an initial product for other bonds, and which impact the production of consumer articles. Benzene is used for synthesising many bonds, for example, aniline, styrene, nylon, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, insecticides and dyes. As its use cannot be avoided in the chemical industry, companies must protect workers from potential occupational benzene hazards in their daily work.

Common carcinogens and VOCs

All about benzene

Key facts and features for safe handling of benzene.

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Benzene exposure in the workplace

benzene hazards - Opening flaps and valves and connecting hoses

Opening flaps and valves and connecting hoses is the most dangerous step in loading and decanting operations as hazardous carcinogenic substances can be released.


When workers need to check device displays in hazardous areas, they may be exposed to toxic or carcinogenic substances above the occupational exposure limits.

Clearance measurement of carcinogenic toxic gases

Sudden increases of carcinogenic toxic gases in confined spaces can put workers at risk.

Benzene carcinogen - dangers impose strict exposure limits

As benzene is a hazardous carcinogen it is subject to very strict workplace exposure limits. These limits have been lowered continuously, which often has far-reaching consequences for industry and pose special challenges. Companies have to prove that they maintain theses low benzene carcinogen limits, and in the long term, document this compliance. An innovative risk-acceptance concept helps to manage these risks.

Benzene exposure - Risk acceptance concept

Safety concept to limit exposure to the benzene carcinogen

Germany is a pioneer in the implementation of this especially strict directive on carcinogenic substances and mutagens (2004/37/EC). The safety concept for potential benzene hazards in workplaces is derived from the “risk acceptance concept”, which is a traffic light model, showing a high (red), medium (yellow), and low risk (green).

Strict limit values for benzene

Strict limit values for benzene

Lower exposure limits for carcinogenic substances – how to master a growing challenge.

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VOICE Benzene

Facts on benzene

Explore many international limit values and more important information on benzene in the Dräger VOICE.

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Measurement of benzene

Detecting aromatic hydrocarbons like benzene is not easy, especially in low concentrations as part of compounds. As benzene is carcinogenic, occupational exposure must be strictly limited. The lower the workplace threshold for benzene exposure limits, the more challenging the measurement process. New technologies offer the possibility to select between different measurement solutions or combine different methods. This is to ensure a work environment does not exceed strict benzene exposure limits and thus protects staff against benzene hazards.

Benzene measurement

Benzene measurement

Find out which measurement methods are suitable for your application situations.

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Benzene gas monitor solutions

Dräger offers innovative measurement solutions, including benzene gas detectors, to make your measuring tasks easier.

Dräger X-am® 8000

Dräger X-am® 8000

Portable Gas Detectors

Portable Gas Detectors

Well protected against benzene exposure

Every industrial worker exposed to the benzene carcinogen must be thoroughly protected with respiratory protection and protective clothing. If it is obvious that exposure to carcinogens in the workplace is unavoidable despite all precautionary measures, then personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used. Chemical-resistant protective clothing prevents vapours and particles from being absorbed through the skin. Respiratory protection equipment and filters protect the lungs from toxins.

chemical protection suits

Select the right protective suit

10 things you need to know about chemical protection suits. Select the right protective suit against exposure to benzene.

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Find the right products for protecting against benzene

Powered air purifying respirators

Powered air purifying respirators

Respiratory Masks

Respiratory Masks

Protective suits

Protective suits

carcinogenic substances

More about carcinogenic substances

Fact and features of most relevant carcinogens in the industry and how to handle them safely

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