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Industrial Hygiene Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/12/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying Occupational Exposure Risks to Xylene and Other Industrial Chemicals
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides environmental and industrial hygiene testing services and sampling supplies to identify and mitigate chemical exposure hazards in the workplace.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, May 12th, 2022

Xylene is described by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor. There are three forms of xylene in which the methyl groups vary on the benzene ring: meta-xylene, ortho-xylene, and para-xylene (m-, o- and p-xylene). These different forms are referred to as isomers.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that xylene is one of the top 30 chemicals produced in the United States. Xylene is also used as a cleaning agent, a thinner for paint, and in paints and varnishes. It is also found in small amounts in airplane fuel and gasoline.

Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to xylene according to NIOSH include:

  • Painters and furniture refinishers who use paint thinners, solvents, lacquers, and paint removers
  • Biomedical laboratory workers who use it as a solvent to fix tissue specimens and rinse stains
  • Workers involved in the distillation and purification of xylene
  • Workers employed in industries who use xylene as a raw material
  • Gas station and automobile garage workers through exposure to petroleum products


“Workers may be harmed from exposure to xylene with the level of exposure depending upon the dose, duration and work being done,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “NIOSH states that exposure can irritate the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Xylene can also cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, loss of muscle coordination, and in high doses, death. To help protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL).”

EMSL Analytical offers industrial hygiene and environmental testing services to detect and monitor for occupational exposure risks to xylene and many other potential chemical hazards. Their testing facilities, located across the United States and Canada, also provide sampling supplies, respirators, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to support health and safety programs. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about xylene and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/pUvg_ccaEBs

To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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