Jan 10, 2024

​Benzene Public Health Report

Excellent report on the struggle to get industries to control benzene, whose substitution with safer solvents was urged by Dr. Alice Hamilton and others over 100 years ago.  Journalist Jim Morris began reporting on the toxic corporate crimes of these industries as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle in the 1970s.

From the article:
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, concluded that the legal limit at the time — 10 parts per million, or 10 ppm, over an eight-hour workday — was far too lenient. Led by Eula Bingham, a plain-spoken Kentuckian appointed by Jimmy Carter, the agency issued an emergency temporary standard that limited exposure to 1 ppm.

What happened next marked the beginning of a battle over benzene regulation that continues to this day. The more the chemical is studied, the worse it looks, with recent science tying even miniscule amounts to childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.