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Industrial Hygiene Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/8/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Protecting Workers in California from Exposure to Xylene and Other Chemicals
Introduction LA Testing provides environmental and industrial hygiene laboratory testing services, sampling supplies and personal protective equipment to identify and mitigate chemical and microbial exposure risks in the workplace.

Huntington Beach, CA, November 8, 2023

Xylene is one of the top 30 chemicals produced in the United States according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 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).


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes xylene as a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor. It is 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. Examples of some workers at potential 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 that use xylene as a raw material
  • Gas station and automobile garage workers through exposure to petroleum products


“Xylene can irritate the eyes, nose, skin and throat,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “It can also cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, loss of muscle coordination, and in high doses, death, reports NIOSH. To protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for xylene and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL). Cal/OSHA also has its own PEL.”


In California, businesses that could expose their workers to xylene or other chemicals can turn to the industrial hygiene and environmental laboratory experts at LA Testing. They offer testing services, sampling supplies and personal protective equipment to assess and mitigate occupational exposure risks. These services protect workers and help companies comply with health and safety regulations. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about xylene and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at:


To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety testing resources, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.


About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for food, consumer product, environmental and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, bacteria, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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