The following symptoms may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to levels over 100 ppm in air of aromatic concentrates:
- Breathing problems and irritation of the throat and lungs
- A feeling of light-headedness followed by headache, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of balance
- Temporary changes in liver or kidney functions
- Development of an irregular heart beat and blood pressure changes
- Convulsions, coma, blurred vision, and tremors at very high levels
Benzene can be measured in blood and breath. In the body, it changes to a chemical called "phenol," which can be measured in urine. Other tests can be done by a doctor to determine the effects on the liver, kidneys, and blood.
In general, a chemical will affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed. However, the seriousness of the effects may vary from person to person. A person's reaction depends on several things, including individual health, heredity, previous exposure to chemicals including medicines, and personal habits such as smoking or drinking.
It’s also important to consider the length of exposure to the chemical, the amount of chemical exposure, and whether the chemical was inhaled, touched, or eaten.
The following health effects can occur after several years of exposure to some of the chemicals in aromatic concentrates:
Leukemia can develop after repeated exposure to benzene. 1,3-butadiene, which makes up less than 2% of the mixture, is suspected of causing cancer in humans.
The nervous system, blood-forming tissues, liver, kidneys, and lungs can all be affected by exposure to aromatic concentrates. Anemia is a common response to work place exposure. Allergic skin rashes may occur as a result of direct contact.