Cancer risk from single exposure to benzene and petcoke vapours
Hello dear forum members!
I posted this question to occupational safety division, but it seems like expert over there is not answering the questions since October. Well, I want to seek your advice.
I am 22 years old. As an auditor I've been revising oil refinery laboratory and petcoke production workshop for a short period of time. More precisely, I was controlling different benzene analyses in the lab, there was a problem with ventilation and was a very strong smell of benzene around. It lasted about two hours and I had a headache few hours afterwards.
In a petcoke production workshop I was inhaling petcoke vapour for about 10 minutes directly by standing in an enclosed space with hot petcoke, and was somewhere around these vapours for about half an hour.
The accidents described above happened in two different days with a 10 days interval between them. Benzene exposure was the last one and I feel absolutely fine after couple of hours, same as after petcoke exposure. Since I'm hypochondriac, the questions that worries me is:
Do these short-term activities increase the risk of any type of cancer or chronic blood or lung disease in the future?
Thank you in advance and kind regards to all of you,
When I was pregnant with my last son ( 5 years ago ) my husband had put forth similar ( and more ) questions to the geneticists that we were assigned to.
After a few tests had been done during my second trimester, my doctor sent us to the genetics lab because she thought that our unborn son was showing signs of down's syndrome. ( Happy to say that they were very wrong! )
My husband told them that he had been exposed ( many times ) to things ending in "ene"...all of which are dangerous, as you know.
They told him that these chemicals "could possibly" contribute to certain birth defects ( if they had been inhaled or touched recently ) but they would need to do more testing. Abortion was suggested at that point, simply because of all the chemicals ( and false positive test results ) that hubby had been exposed to during the years leading up to my pregnancy.
I dismissed that idea very quickly.
Hubby DOES have severe lung damage due to these chemicals, but he was inhaling them ( not deliberately ) all the time at work, for many, many years...not just a few times.
The cancer connection was discussed at that time ( as he was fearful that he had it ...lung cancer that is ) but it was COPD/asthma, not cancer...at least not lung cancer.
5 years later ( just last week actually ) he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. The doctor had been telling him for the past 7 years that it was " only " psoriasis. The inhalers he was using were full of steroids, which helped to fuel the cancer furnace.
What started out as a small dime size area is now almost as big as a paperback book 3 years later.
Was this cancer caused by the " enes" ? Who's to say. But I would like to know too.
We certainly know that sun exposure did not cause his cancer, as it's in a spot where the sun never shines ( for most people anyway lol ).
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