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OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE AND HEALTH OF WORKERS EMPLOYED IN THE PROCESSING OF NATURAL GAS


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Abstract

This review in chronological order considers steps of the solution of the one of key issues of occupational medicine, namely - a hygienic assessment of working conditions at enterprises of gas-processing industry - the most steadily growing sector of economy, reliably providing the population’s needs and the national economy for fuel and energy resources. The intensity of the working process at these enterprises was shown to be often associated with the persistent exposure to various harmful factors of the occupational environment that in the complex promotes the formation of unfavorable functional states, a decline in the level of physical and mental health, productivity and efficiency of work. Industrial air environment in services workshop and compressor houses is often polluted with hydrogen sulphide, sulfur dioxide, mercaptans, methanol, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, nitrogen and carbon oxides. The main cause of this pollution is a certain imperfection of the technological process and equipment, especially the lack of its tightness. The number of processes at a high temperature and elevated pressure in the presence of very aggressive reagents primarily, as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide promotes the release of harmful substances into air environment. The possibility of their additive or synergistic impact on employees is not excluded because just in such industries there is seen a number of combinations of harmful substances enforcing the action of each other. There is made a conclusion that working conditions and environmental protection at the enterprises for the processing of natural gas and condensate with the high content of hydrogen sulfide and other corrosive components need for the further comprehensive hygienic assessment with the aim of the development of measures for the improvement of working conditions, preservation of workers’ health and environmental protection at all stages of production and processing of hydrocarbon raw materials in modern conditions. In preparing the review, the Scopus and Russian Information Scientific Center databases were used.


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