Volume 6      Special Issue-2018

The evaluation of toluene and xylene exposure and work ability among fishermen in Rayong province, Thailand

Srirat Lormphongs

Department of Industrial Hygiene and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Burapha University Chonburi Province, Thailand



The fisherman who are exposed to toluene and xylene on a daily basis from the petrol used in the combustible engines of their small fishing boats. The fishermen must go out to sea since early dawn and return in the late evening, and relatively little to no use of any protective equipment or apparatus to provide an occupationally safe breathing system. The study group of 120 fishermen had a mean age of 44.98 years. 81.6% worked less than or equal to 7 hours per day. During a full work week, 68.0% worked 7 days per week. Out of all responses, 0.8% always used respiratory protection; of those who used protection only used cotton masks. When the fishermen finished working for the day, more than 30% of the study group showed symptoms of adverse health effects including headache, body fatigue, fatigue only in arms and legs, and coughing. Most of them had workability at a good level (69.2%). Air samples were measured by individual “Organic Vapor Monitors (3M 3500)” attached to the lapel of each study group subject. Results of the study group (n=120) showed average ± SD Toluene level of 29.61 ± 53.934 ppb and Xylene 248.86 ± 41.635 ppb. Urine samples were collected after the work shift. Results of urine samples (n=120) showed average + SD level of Hippuric acid at 391.47 ± 391.305 mg/g creatinine and Methylhippuric acid was 73.04 ± 178.053 mg/g creatinine. The relationship between toluene, xylene, hippuric acid, methylhippuric acid and workability of the study group showed to be not significant. There should be concern about organized training and education to provide knowledge and understanding of the hazardous working environment.

 Keywords: Toluene, Xylene, Workability, Fishermen, Rayong

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