Benzene Health Issues: Leading & Lagging Indicators
Leading and lagging indicators
Health surveillance by conducting a urinary test or blood count can of course show evidence of exposure but these are lagging indicators i.e. after exposure has already taken place by which time damage may have been done.
A preferable leading indicator for benzene exposure would be to monitor using a real-time monitoring instrument such as a photoionisation detector.
These can be fixed, portable or personal devices depending on the application or a combination of all three for maximum worker protection.
A local and/or central alarm will indicate an unacceptably high concentration and alert workers to evacuate the area or to wear the appropriate respiratory protection.