The Effects Of Benzene Exposure On Women Essay

The Effects Of Benzene Exposure On Women Essay

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Extensive research has gone into the study of benzene in the body and unfortunately, early warning signs mimic less severe issues such as heat exhaustion or carbon monoxide exposure. It is imperative that workers who are susceptible to benzene exposure be aware of the warning signs and should be the duty of first line supervision to make this information available. Long term health effects of benzene exposure are real and present. The real danger from long term exposure of benzene is on the blood. Benzene causes damaging effects in bone marrow and causes a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause the thinning of blood, leading to excessive bleeding and can suppress the immune system, increasing the chance for infection. Many women who inhaled high levels of benzene for multiple months had irregular menstrual periods and saw a loss in the diameter of their ovaries. Though it has been studied, results are inconclusive whether or not benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or the fertility of exposed men. Studies with animals have revealed low birth weights, hindered bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals ingested or inhaled benzene. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, or cancer of the blood-forming organs. Long term inhalation of benzene in high levels may develop the following signs and symptoms within minutes or several hours:
• Drowsiness
• Dizziness
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat
• Headaches
• Tremors
• Confusion
• Unconsciousness
• Death (at very high levels)

Eating foods containing high levels of benzene can c...

... middle of paper ...

...touches the soiled clothing should also be placed in the bag. The bag should be sealed, and then placed inside another plastic bag. Labeling the outer bag will help protect you and other people from any chemicals that might be on your clothing. When the health department or emergency personnel arrive, inform them of the location of your clothes and disposal method. They will then arrange for further disposal. Do not handle the plastic bags.
It seems benzene will remain a chemical pillar of American infrastructure, despite its effects on the human body. Education is the best tool that an industrial professional or even the general public can use to avoid serious health risks. Just as silicon can often replace carbon in manufacturing given its similar molecular structure, maybe a viable replacement for benzene will one day rid industries of its health hazards.

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