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The World in Medicine
January 19, 2005

Benzene Caution

JAMA. 2005;293(3):286. doi:10.1001/jama.293.3.286-d

Benzene has long been recognized as capable of increasing the risk of leukemia and other blood disorders, and US regulations mandate that occupational exposure to this widely used industrial chemical should not exceed 1 ppm. Now, a study of shoe factory workers in China by US and Chinese scientists has found that benzene can damage blood-forming cells in the bone marrow even at levels below this threshold, a finding that could prompt a reevaluation of the 1-ppm workplace standard (Lan et al. Science . 2004;306:1774-1776).

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