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Single exposure to benzene and petcoke vapours
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Single exposure to benzene and petcoke vapours

Hello dear forum members and respectful doctors!

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.

I feel absolutely fine after couple of hours. 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,
George.
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello George,

Long-term (greater than 1 year) exposure to benzene could increase your lifetime risk of leukemia ("blood cancer") - http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp

However, the long-term health effects of brief exposures (like the ones that you describe in your posting) are unknown.

Petroleum coke is thought to have a low health hazard potential.
http://www.epa.gov/hpv/pubs/summaries/ptrlcoke/c12563rr2.pdf


~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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