Occupational exposure to Benzene, a comparison of different methods for collection and analysis


  • Danilo De Angelis Phoenix ESD srl
  • Maria Cristina Cappelletti Phoenix ESD srl
  • Silvia Capolongo Phoenix ESD srl
  • Damiano Toni Phoenix ESD srl
  • Cinzia Fulvi Phoenix ESD srl
  • Marco Pedone Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health




Benzene, Passive sampler, sampling methods, risk assessment, NIOSH Methods


The assessment of occupational exposure risk to carcinogenic substances, and in particular to benzene, can be a particularly complex activity when it is necessary to measure concentration values close to the method’s limit of detection. The aim of this study is to verify if the most internationally accredited sampling methods for benzene (NIOSH 2549 and Passive Sampling with Radiello n.145) are able, in the same sampling conditions, to provide comparable results. The study has been carried out following both the NIOSH 2549 and passive sampling with Radiello n.145 methodologies. Sampling was performed for a quite long time (about one month) during which a significant number of samples were collected and analyzed using both the methodologies indicated above at the same time. The results obtained as a whole show that there is a sufficient consistency between the NIOSH 2549 and Radiello RAD 145 methods.


Chang CP at al - Comparison between Thermal Desorption Tubes and Stainless Steel Canisters Used for Measuring Volatile Organic Compounds in Petrochemical Factories. - Ann Occup Hyg.2016 Apr;60(3):348-60.

Cocheo V. et al - High uptake rate radial diffusive sampler suitable for both solvent and thermal desorption - American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 57, pp. 897-904, 1996

Karen Niven and Ron McLeod - Offshore industry: management of health hazards in the upstream petroleum industry - Occupational Medicine 2009;59:304–309

Kevin Ashley and Paula Fey O’Connor - NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods 5th Edition – Dicembre 2017.

Method EPA TO-15 — Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air - Second Edition - United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mukerjee S at al - Application of passive sorbent tube and canister samplers for volatile organic compounds at refinery fenceline locations in Whiting, Indiana. - J Air Waste Manag Assoc.2018 Feb;68(2):170-175.

Strandberg B at al - Evaluation of three types of passive samplers for measuring 1,3-butadiene and benzene at workplaces. - Environ Sci Process Impacts.2014 May;16(5):1008-14.