The industry of oil refining and petrochemical play an important role in terms of number of employees in the Italian production. Often the terms "petroleum refining" and "petrochemical" are used interchangeably to define processes that occur in complex plants, which grow outdoors on large surfaces and a visual impact is not irrelevant. In reality, the two areas involve potential exposure to different chemical agents, related to raw materials processed and the specific products. The petrochemical uses as raw materials, the oil fractions, obtained by distillation in the refinery, or natural gas; petrochemical products are, usually, single compounds with a specific degree of purity, used as basic raw materials for the entire industry of organic chemistry, from the production of plastics to pharmaceuticals. The oil refining, that is the topic of this paper, processes mainly oil to obtain mixtures of hydrocarbon compounds, the products of which are specified on the basis of aptitude for use. For example gasolines, are obtained by mixing offractions of the first distillation, reforming products, antiknock. The paper illustrates, necessarily broadly due to the complexity of the productive sectors, the technological and organizational changes that have led to a significant reduction of occupational exposure to chemical agents, the results of environmental monitoring carried out in some refineries both during routine conditions that during scheduled maintenance activities with plant shutdown and a store of petroleum products. The chemical agents measured are typical for presence, physico-chemical properties and toxicological characteristics of the manufacturing processes of petroleum products like benzene, toluene, xylenes, ethyl benzene, n-hexane, Volatile Hydrocarbons belonging to gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel. Data related to both personal sampling and fixed positions.
|Translated title of the contribution||Evolution of technology and occupational exposures in petrochemical industry and in petroleum refining|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health