What is the industry doing in terms of research?

Today and tomorrow

Keeping aromatics science up-to-date

The industry is committed to ensuring the most up-to-date scientific information on aromatic substances available for users, regulators and the general public. Data on substances are kept by the Commission in what is called "IUCLID" Files (International Uniform Chemical Information database). Prior to REACH, APA routinely reviewed the available scientific literature and provided regular IUCLID update for affected aromatic substances. Following the REACH Registration of aromatic substances in 2010, the responsibility for this activity now rests with the members of the LOA REACH Consortium. Information submitted for REACH are accessible via (ECHA dissemination portal)

Current activities

Pooled analysis of human data on benzene

Benzene causes certain types of leukaemia in humans and good data exists to show that exposure levels in excess of current workplace and environmental levels constitute a risk. However, the limited size of individual epidemiological studies limits their ability to be interpreted with a high degree of certainty. Working together with CONCAWE and other international industry groups, APA has co-sponsored a study that has combined and updated (‘pooled’) 3 studies that examine the health status of gasoline distribution and refinery workers and their exposures to benzene. The study examined five diseases of the blood and blood-forming system including three forms of leukaemia (AML, CML, CLL) and two types of blood disorders (MDS, MPD). The pooled analysis study found no consistent relationship between benzene exposures and any of the disease groups examined, apart from MDS.  There was a consistent relationship between benzene exposure and MDS.  Workers who experienced regular peak exposure [defined in this study as at least weekly short-term (15-60 minutes) and exposure to more than 3 ppm to benzene for at least one year] seemed to be most closely associated with MDS.  Cumulative exposure over a worker’s career also showed a relationship in a majority of worker subgroups analyzed.  This is the first time that a consistent relationship between this range of benzene exposure levels and MDS has been reported. The full findings have recently been published in the prestigious and influential journal of the US National Cancer Institute

Future areas for research

APA will respond to new developments by initiating further work within its science programme. This is an ongoing commitment. Whilst the current programme is largely based upon the outcome of discussions amongst our scientists, we welcome suggestions from other groups who may have ideas or opinions on the nature of the research that APA ought to be following. The industry wants to ensure that all stakeholders can find reassurance that aromatic products can be and are being used safely within society.

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