A hematology surveillance study of petrochemical workers exposed to 1,3 butadiene

Shan P. Tsai, Farah S. Ahmed, Jerry D. Ransdell, Judy K. Wendt, Robin P. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Complete blood counts (CBC) have been recognized as an easy and readily available screen for hematotoxicity following occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene. This study evaluated hematology data from employees who have ever participated in the Shell Butadiene Medical Surveillance Program (BMSP), compared with employees who have not participated. This study examined potential hematopoietic toxicity in relation to the occupational exposures at two Shell facilities. This study included 404 employees who participated in the BMSP, with mean butadiene exposure (TWA-8, TWA-10, and TWA-12 together) of 4.55 ppm from 1979-1996 and 0.25 ppm from 1997-2003, and 773 comparison employees. The comparison group included employees not participating in either the benzene or butadiene surveillance programs. Abnormality of six CBC parameters, including white blood cell count, red blood cell count, lymphocyte count, hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular volume and platelet count, and the adjusted mean values of these parameters in the exposed group were compared with those of the comparison group. We found no significantly increased abnormality for any hematology parameter among exposed employees. The adjusted mean values (adjusted for age, sex, race, length of time between first and last exam, current smoking status, and first exam value) of the exposed employees were similar to those in the comparison group. At current occupational exposure levels for 1,3-butadiene, there is no evidence of adverse hematological effects observed in this study. These findings are consistent with results of three similar studies in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-515
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 1,3 Butadiene
  • Health surveillance
  • Hematology
  • Petrochemical
  • Refinery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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