Presentation Abstract

Title: Evaluation of Benzene and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Exposures on an Oil Platform in the Gulf of Mexico

Authors: Leonard G. Burrelli and John W. Spencer

Presented at: AIHCE 2002, San Diego, CA

Benzene, a known carcinogen, has been reported as a constituent in crude oil. A study was completed to determine the exposure of oil platform workers to benzene and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) during normal/routine tasks. The workers’ tasks included: well head crude oil sampling, crude oil shake-out with benzene, toluene and gasoline, hand gauging tanks for volume determination, pipeline cleaning using the “pig,” tank sampling using a “thief,” and metering run orifice plate inspection. A spill clean up was also simulated.

Personal and area air monitoring sampling was conducted throughout the oil platform over a two-day period. All samples were collected and analyzed in accordance with NIOSH methodologies. Results indicated that 8-hour TWA exposures for benzene ranged from below the quantification limit of 0.061 ppm to a high measurement of 0.37 ppm; total petroleum hydrocarbon results calculated as 8-hour TWA measurements were below the quantification limit of 0.44 mg/m3 to a high of 23.03 mg/m3. Analysis of the bulk crude oil measured benzene at 844 ppm.

Comparing these task specific results with the OSHA regulated permissible exposure limits show that oil platform workers are within guidelines for benzene and total petroleum hydrocarbon exposures.

EPI logo

Environmental Profiles, Inc.

8805 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite 100
Columbia, MD 21045

(410) 740-9600
(410) 740-9606 FAX