Batch Maker Dies after Toxic Exposure to Toluene Vapor - New Jersey

New Jersey Case Report: 13NJ059
Release Date: May 21, 2015
The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


A 56-year-old male batch maker died after a toxic exposure to toluol (toluene) vapor at a manufacturing plant. The incident occurred on the top of a 6,000-gallon, above-ground storage tank which was located outside of the plant. On the day of the incident, the victim was using a wooden measuring stick to determine the remaining volume of toluene in the tank. After he opened the port on the top of the tank, he lowered the measuring stick into the tank. He reached down into the port to obtain a measurement (the stick was shorter than the depth of the tank) and was overcome with vapor. Coworkers found the victim shortly afterwards laying on the top of the tank and 9-1-1 was called. Emergency responders arrived at the site and transported the victim to the hospital, where he died shortly afterwards. The cause of death was determined to be toluene intoxication.

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Page last reviewed: November 10, 2015