Effects of Benzene on human hematopoiesis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Benzene, an aromatic hydrocarbon that is a natural component of crude oil and natural gas, is toxic to the blood and blood-forming organs. Epidemiological studies have established an association between benzene exposure and acute myeloid leukemia, and increasing evidence also indicates a possible association between benzene and multiple myeloma. A specific benzene-associated myelodysplastic syndrome has also been suggested. Chronic hematotoxic effects of benzene exposure, including reduced lymphocyte, neutrophil and platelet counts in peripheral blood, have been detected at occupational exposure below a level that had previously been considered not to cause any health effects. Whether these abnormalities represent bone marrow damage and/or initial events in the development of a true neoplastic disease is not known. Together with a reported nonlinear relationship between benzene exposure and the level of various metabolites, favoring production of biologically reactive quinones at exposure below 1 part per million, these observations suggest that benzene even at low exposure levels may contribute to the risk of acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome, especially among genetically susceptible individuals.
CopyrightCopyright Kirkeleit et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.
Kirkeleit et al.