A study was performed to determine the content of benzene in the air and solvents and thinners used by 231 workers in 40 small or large workplaces in Istanbul and Izmit. The benzene value in the air of a tyre cord manufacturing factory where two cases of acute leukaemia were recorded in a six year period was 110 ppm. In nine of 47 thinners (19.1%) the benzene content ranged between 0% and 6.4% whereas it was between 0.7% and 7.64% in 26 of 34 solvents used. A haematological study on 231 workers showed that there were mild abnormalities in 14 workers including leucopaenia in nine (3.9%), thrombocytopaenia in four (2.16%), and pancytopaenia in one (0.54%). This study shows that despite the considerable decrease in the content of benzene in the solvents and thinners available in Istanbul and Izmit the percentages of benzene in most of the materials are still above permissible limits.
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