Benzene Reduces White Blood Cell and Platelet Counts
Researchers demonstrated that benzene can significantly reduce white blood cell counts and platelet counts at or below the U.S. occupational standard, particularly among susceptible subpopulations. Benzene is used in some industries to make other chemicals, which, in turn, are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of rubber, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Benzene-exposed workers with genetic variants in two key metabolizing enzymes may be especially susceptible to benzene toxicity.
Lan Q, Zhang L, Li G, Vermeulen R, Weinberg RS, Dosemeci M, Rappaport SM, Shen M, Alter BP, Wu Y, Kopp W, Waidyanatha S, Rabkin C, Guo W, Chanock S, Hayes RB, Linet M, Kim S, Yin S, Rothman N, Smith MT. 2004. Hematotoxicity in workers exposed to low levels of benzene. Science. 306(5702):1774-1776. [Abstract] [Full Text]
NIEHS Funded Research:
Environmental Health Perspectives articles:
- Evidence That Humans Metabolize Benzene via Two Pathways
- Ranking Cancer Risks of Organic Hazardous Air Pollutants in the United States