Results show that approximately 208,000 Canadians are exposed to ethylbenzene in their workplaces; 94% of these workers are male. The largest exposed industry group is automotive repair and maintenance, local, municipal and regional public administration (where firefighters are captured), taxi and limousine service, and automotive dealers.
When exposure is examined by occupation, the largest exposed groups are automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics (75,000 exposed), firefighters (25,000 exposed), taxi and limousine and chauffeur (24,600 exposed) and truck drivers (15,000 exposed).
Data Sources & Methods
Data used in developing the occupational estimates for ethylbenzene were collected from several sources:
- The Canadian Workplace Exposure Database (CWED) contains over 1,500 measurements for ethylbenzene exposure. These measurements were collected during the years 1981 to 2004 in Ontario and British Columbia workplaces.
- Canadian and US scientific peer reviewed publications that addressed ethylbenzene exposure in Canada and the United States.
- Grey literature including technical reports from governments and international bodies.
Prevalence Estimate Method
CAREX defines exposure to ethylbenzene as inhalation exposure at work to levels significantly exceeding background environmental levels.
To determine the number of workers potentially exposed to ethylbenzene at work, CAREX occupational exposure experts used methods previously established in other peer-reviewed CAREX projects in Europe. A series of steps were taken to assign exposure proportions to occupations and industries at risk of exposure to ethylbenzene.
- Occupations and industries at risk of possible exposure to ethylbenzene were identified using any combination of data sources described above.
- The total number of workers in each identified occupation and industry intersection was obtained from Statistics Canada 2006 census data.
- A percentage of workers exposed was assigned to that occupation and industry intersection. Percentages were determined by consultation with existing evidence in the data sources, previously established methods from the Europe CAREX estimates and the expert judgement of CAREX occupational hygienists.
- The number of workers in the identified group is multiplied by the assigned percentage to calculate the prevalence estimate of workers exposed to ethylbenzene.