Occupational and Community Exposure Risks to Phenol in Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate chemical exposure hazards throughout the Caribbean.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- A study was conducted several years ago that looked at concentrations of phenol and other chemicals in the urine of pregnant women in Puerto Rico. Over 1000 women participated as part of the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) study. The findings reveled higher levels of phenol and other potential endocrine disruptors in the participants as compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
Due to its commercial importance, millions of tons of phenol are produced each year across the globe. Phenol is described by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) as both a manufactured chemical and a natural substance that is a solid when pure, but the commercial product is typically a liquid.
Phenol is used in many industries. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that it is used for medicine as a slimicide, antiseptic and disinfectant, and to manufacture a number of products. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to phenol include:
· Workers in the petroleum industry
· Workers in plants where nylon is manufactured
· Workers in plants that manufacture epoxy resins
· Workers in plants that manufacture herbicides
NIOSH also reports that workers may be harmed from exposure to phenol with the level of harm depending upon the dose, duration and work being done. Exposure to phenol may cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, throat and nervous system. Some symptoms of exposure to phenol are weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, muscle aches and pain. Severe exposure can cause liver and/or kidney damage, skin burns, tremor, convulsions and twitching.
“Routes of potential exposure include inhalation, oral and dermal so there are published workplace exposure limits designed to protect employees,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “For the general public, ATSDR states they could possibly be exposed to elevated levels of it if they live near a hazardous waste site; from consumer products that contain phenol – some throat lozenges, mouthwashes, antiseptic lotions, and toilet and floor disinfectants and cleaners; and from inhaling cigarette smoke.”
Protecting workers and the public from exposure risks to phenol and other chemicals are the industrial hygiene and environmental professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. They offer testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposures to a wide range of chemical and biological hazards. These services protect people and also help to keep companies and institutions in regulatory compliance. Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about phenol exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/yPGD6Uuvp7k
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email email@example.com.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.