Butadiene in the Workplace
Butadiene is a colorless gas produced as a co-product in the manufacture of ethylene, 1,3-butadiene and is used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), polybutadiene rubber and thermoplastic resins.
Inhaled butadiene is highly carcinogenic with studies consistently finding excess mortality from lymphatic and haematopoietic cancers associated with occupational exposure to butadiene. In the mid 1940's increases in lymphosarcomas in production butadiene workers were first studies by experts. Exposures to butadiene were probably much higher during the Second World War, with the great increase in synthetic rubber tire and hose production.
Uses of 1,3-Butadiene
Butadiene is used in the production of rubber, rubber hoses, tires and plastics. Butadiene is also used in copolymers including acrylics. Butadiene is also released into the air from motor vehicle exhaust, manufacturing and processing facilities, forest fires or other combustion, and cigarette smoke. Butadiene may be found in highly industrialized cities or near oil refineries, chemical manufacturing plants, and plastic, resin and rubber factories.
Butadiene Bladder Cancer
Animal studies using mice have reported developmental effects, such as skeletal abnormalities and decreased fetal weights, and reproductive effects, including an increased incidence of ovarian atrophy and testicular atrophy from inhalation exposure to 1,3-butadiene. A large epidemiological study of synthetic rubber industry workers demonstrated a consistent association between 1,3-butadiene exposure and occurrence of leukemia. Several epidemiological studies of workers in styrene-butadiene rubber factories have shown an increased incidence of respiratory, bladder cancer, stomach, and lymphato-hematopoietic cancers.
Benzidene and Bladder Cancer
Benzidine exposures resulting in bladder cancer are associated with production and use of PAHs (aluminum production, coal gasification, coal-tar pitches, benzopyrenes and hair dyes. Such benzidine hair dye exposures can increase the risks of bladder cancer to hairdressers hair stylists and barbers.
Benzidine is a chemical manufactured to be used to produce dyes. Exposure to bezidine has been associated with increased risk of urinary bladder cancer. It is a crystalline solid that may be grayish-yellow, white, or reddish-gray. Benzidine was used for many years to produce dyes for cloth, paper, and leather. It is no longer produced or used commerically in the U.S.
Occupational exposure to benzidine can increase the risk of developing urinary bladder cancer. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the EPA have determined that benzidine is a human carcinogen. The most common dyes made from benzidine, are Direct Blue 6 Dye, Direct Black 38 Dye, and Direct Brown 95 Dye.
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