Benzene - standards

What standards are imposed by the authorities? Quantities put into perspective ...

Standards

The Belgian Arbeidsinspectie (Labour Inspectorate) takes 3200 micrograms benzene per cubic metre as the maximum amount permitted at the workplace. Scientists assume that exposure to this amount of benzene during an 8-hour working day in the course of a normal career bears no risk to employees' health. 

Notification limit

BP continually monitors benzene emissions around the PX unit by means of OPSIS. BP has agreed with the authorities that it will inform the Belgian Milieu-inspectie (Environmental Inspectorate) and a number of public bodies if the system measures a value of more than 100 micrograms per cubic metre and this for more than 30 minutes. This '100 micrograms per cubic metre' is referred to as the 'notification limit'. 

A lot or not? Numbers in perspective

To put the figure of 100 into perspective, an overview is given below of typical benzene concentrations.
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Rural environment
0.5
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Winkelomheide (VITO or VMM measurements after start-up of PX unit - near the church)
0.8
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Typical urban environment 
1.0
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Eindhout (VITO or VMM measurements after start-up of PX unit - Berthoutstraat 2) 
1.2
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Road junction
2.7
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Inside the PX unit during normal operation 
5 to 10 
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Smoky environment
up to 35
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Driving through a tunnel 
up to 40
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Notification limit for BP in Geel 
100
All figures are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre
Permitted by Labour Inspectorate: exposure without risk during 8-hour working day during normal career 
3200