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Background and Objective : Fuel derived from petroleum refining process. Gasoline (consist of n-hexane, benzene, toluene, octane, heptane ) and diesel fuel (consist of benzene, toluene, ortho-xylene, paraxylene) are commonly used. The acute and chronic toxicity of both, some chemicals are classified as the carcinogens.Workers of petrol stations potentially expose to chemical in fuel evaporation during fueling and automobile emission. This pilot study aimed to investigate the health effects, the protection behavior and the potential health risk of fuel exposure among workers of petrol stations.
Method : Data were collected by interviewing using an applied survey form of health risk assessment on work hazards exposure. The potential risk level was determined following the objective and subjective adjustments among workers of petrol stations in Khon Kaen municipality area. The risk levels were classified into 5 levels of very high, high, rather high, medium and low.
Results : The results showed that most workers of petrol stations were males (77.42%), age 15-24 years (58.06%) and work experience <1 year (51.61%). Unsafe behaviors of most workers were working without personal protective equipment (PPE) (80.65%) . All workers had experienced of symptoms related to fuel exposure at mild level, mostly as vertigo (67.74%), fatigue (54.84%) and headache (51.61%). The moderate severity of reported symptoms were blur conscious (41.94%), depress/confuse (25.18%) and chest pain (22.58%). Severe symptoms of pale (16.13%) and convulsion (3.23%) were also reported. The potential health risks on fuel exposure of worker were 3.23% at very high risk ,74.19%% at high risk, and 22.58 rather high risk. The significant identification (p<0.05) of factors of directed contact with the gasoline, unused PPE and inconvenient to clean up clothes or the body exposed to fuel played a role on the different level of worker’s symptoms related to fuel toxicity.
Conclusions : Workers of petrol stations should be aware of fuel toxicity and better protection by using PPE. Occupational hygiene practice is recommended for workers of petrol stations. The pilot results suggest for the further investigations of hazardous chemicals exposure by biological and environmental monitoring among workers of petrol stations.
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