Assessment of exposure to ubiquitous carcinogens: comparison between occupational and general population exposure


  • Giulia Pizzella Eni R&M HSEQ/SALV
  • Salvatore Macrì Eni R&M HSEQ/SALV
  • Patrizia Vassallo Eni R&M HSEQ/SALV
  • Maria Gregio Azienda ULSS 3 Serenissima
  • Pierluigi Giacomello Università di Roma “La Sapienza” Dip.CTF
  • Paolo Angelini Eni R&M Logistica Primaria HSE/HUB
  • Federico Zara Eni R&M Raffineria di Venezia



Ubiquitous carcinogens, occupational exposure levels, general population


Technological developments and regulatory changes have led to a high level of control of occupational exposures to many hazardous agents. For some ubiquitous carcinogens, the reduction of professional inhalation exposure and the co-existence of other sources external to the work environment have made it difficult to draw a clear line between exposure arising from work and that coming from other sources. In many cases occupational exposure levels are close to those of the general population.
The increased availability of pollutant concentration data for the general population and for workers has shown to be very useful for epidemiological analysis and to identify measures aimed at risk reduction. However, in using and comparing ambient air quality data and personal inhalation exposure data in the workplace, it is important not to confuse the two areas, as they are assessed against different criteria.
Synergies and differences in the evaluation of exposure in these two different areas are reviewed and applied to a case study resulting from the experience gained in eni downstream that over the years has constantly monitored the exposure of workers to the typical ubiquitous carcinogen benzene.


EPA 560/5-76-003, 1976. Health Effect of Benzene: a


Giacomello, P., Nardi, P., Moscatelli, L., Janis, B.,

Pizzella, G., 2000. Linee guida per l’igiene industriale nel

processo di valutazione del rischio.Atti del Convegno di


Macrì, S., Manzo, L., Arcangeli, G., Locatelli, C., Dugheri,

S., Pizzella, G., 2015. Utilizzo degli indicatori biologici di

esposizione nelle attività di raffinazione e distribuzione

prodotti petroliferi in Eni Refining & Marketing and

Chemicals.Atti del Convegno di Corvara.

Mirabelli, D., 1999. Estimated number of workers exposed

to carcinogens in Italy, within the context of the European

study CAREX, 23 (4), 346 - 359.

Mirabelli, D., Kauppinen, T., 2005. Occupational exposu-

res to carcinogens in Italy: an update of CAREX database.

Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health., 11 (1), 53 - 63.

Nardi, P., Pizzella, G., Zanoni, G., 1994. Il benzene nelle

stazioni di servizio.Il benzene. tossicologia, ambienti di

vita e lavoro, p. 311.

Orrù, G., Sciarra, G., Aprea, C., Cenni, A., Gregio, M.,

Giacomello, P.L., Pizzella, G., Izzo, A., Pugliese, F.,

Moscatelli, L., 2006. Valutazione dell’esposizione cutanea

dei lavoratori nell’industria petrolifera: definizione di una

strategia di indagine.Atti del Convegno di Corvara, p. 309.

Özkaynak, H., Palma, T., Touma, J.S., and Thurman, J.,

Modeling population exposures to outdoor sources

of hazardous air pollutants. Journal of Exposure Science

and Environmental Epidemiology, 18, 45 - 58.

Pizzella, G., Macrì, S., Vassallo, P., Ludovici, A., Di

Caprio, E., 2012. Esposizione ad agenti chimici e misure

di gestione del rischio in Eni refining & marketing.

Atti del 29° Convegno Nazionale AIDII Pisa, 290 - 295.

Pizzella, G., Vassallo, P., Macrì, S., Di Caprio, E., Orrù G.,

Gregio, M., Grignani, E., Cottica, D., 2010.

Esposizione dei lavoratori ad agenti chimici e cancerogeni: evoluzione nella rilevazione e interpretazione dei dati in Eni refining & marketing. Atti del Convegno di Corvara.