Benzene is a natural component of crude oil and is one of the elementary petrochemicals. It’s a colourless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet odour - it’s what you smell at petrol stations. Benzene is also widely used in industrial processes, particularly in the manufacture of plastics, polymers, drugs, solvents, synthetic rubber/latex, foam and dyes.
Benzene is a human carcinogen, it’s also a possible mutagen and developmental toxin in humans - specifically toxic to blood, bone marrow and the central nervous system and may target the liver and urinary system. Most non-industrial applications have been limited. Limited studies show that after dermal (skin) exposure, benzene is metabolized by the liver and excreted.
It is also an environmental pollutant and major component of smog.
Reactions to Benzene and derivatives can include; rhinitis, itchy eyes, eczema, asthma and headaches but also contact dermatitis if wearing Nylon.
- Petrol Stations, Petrol & Diesel
- Petrol fumes
- Glues & Resins
- Solvents & Thinners
- Furniture Wax
- Rubber & synthetic Latex
- Industrial Cleaners & Degreasers
- Dry Cleaning Chemicals
- Nylon fabric
Extensive list can be found here
A variety of other chemical compounds are also derived from Benzene – these are known as benzene derivatives.
- Benzoic Acid – Link to Benzoic Acid / Sodium Benzoate - widely used food preservative, E211 - found in soft fizzy drinks - drugs.com
- Phenol also known as Benzenol - britannica.com
- Toluene also known as Methyl benzene - sciencedirect.com
- Xylene - sciencing.com
- Styrene - sciencedirect.com