Risk perception of automotive fuel poisoning among gas station attendants


Introduction: Everyday, gas station attendants ate exposed to numerous toxic substances found in fuels. Benzene stands out among these toxic chemical agents; depending on its concentration, it can cause mucosal irritation or even pulmonary edema. A considerable number of gas station attendants is aware of the risks associated with benzene poisoning, but they are not aware of the risks associated with other automotive pollutants.

Objectives: To evaluate and understand the risk perception of automotive fuel poisoning among gas station attendants in the Sorocaba region, state of São Paulo.

Methods: Sixty gas station attendants were evaluated in the Sorocaba region. Data were collected between October 2019 and September 2020 using a semi-structured, individual, closed-ended questionnaire whose questions identified the participants’ perception and aimed to analyze: the general profile of the studied population; practices for handling fuels and knowledge on their toxic effects, use and instructions of personal protective equipment, symptoms possibly associated with fuel exposure, the participants’ perception of poisoning risks, and their participation in occupational medicine programs.

Results: The obtained results demonstrated that most gas station attendants wore at least basic personal protective equipment, and some of them reported symptoms linked with benzene exposure. Still, a considerable number of employers does not provide adequate training to gas station attendants, which is possibly associated with inadequate use of personal protective equipment.

Conclusions: Our data showed indications of non-compliance by gas station attendants as to the use of personal protective equipment at the workplace, and by employers as to the provision of adequate training.

Authors: Larissa Guerino Ferla, Gustavo Henrique Oliveira da-Rocha, Rômulo Tadeu Dias de-Oliveira, Éric Diego Barioni
; Full Source: Revista brasileira de medicina do trabalho : publicacao oficial da Associacao Nacional de Medicina do Trabalho-ANAMT 2023 Feb 3;20(3):422-429. doi: 10.47626/1679-4435-2022-745.