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Benzene


Eco-USA: Toxics: Benzene


Benzene is a flammable and colorless liquid that quickly evaporates. It is somewhat soluble in water. Benzene is a constituent of crude oil and is present in gasoline. Benzene is used to make many other chemicals and products, including styrofoam and some kinds of resins, fibers, dyes, drugs, pesticides, and many other products.

Health Effects

U.S. EPA's Integrated Risk Information System states that benzene is a known human carcinogen. The National Institutes of Health has determined that benzene is known to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that "There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of benzene. Benzene causes acute myeloid leukaemia in adults. Positive associations have been observed for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphoid leukaemia, multiple myeloma, chronic myeloid leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia in children, and cancer of the lung." (IARC, page 297).