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December 5, 2004

Even at Low Levels, Benzene Takes Toll on White Blood Cells

Topics: Medicine

The results of a new study suggest that even low levels of exposure to the chemical benzene have measurable adverse health effects. Researchers writing today in Science report that Chinese factory workers breathing benzene at levels permissible by U.S. standards have fewer white blood cells and platelets than unexposed workers do.

Experts have known for years that high levels of benzene reduce white blood cell counts and cause leukemia in people. Benzene is found in gasoline and tobacco and is used in many chemical manufacturing processes. U.S. guidelines allow workers to breathe air with as much as one part per million (1 ppm) benzene, averaged over an eight-hour workday.  Read More at Scienctific American...

Posted by Hyscience at December 5, 2004 12:05 AM

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