Why is benzene in the human body?
Benzene is an organic chemical
compound. Benzene is a colorless and flammable liquid with a sweet
smell and a relatively high melting point. It is carcinogenic and
its use as additive in gasoline is now limited, but it is an
important industrial solvent and precursor in the production of
drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber, and dyes.
Outdoor air contains
low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor
vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions. Indoor air generally
contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The
benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such
as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents. The air around
hazardous waste sites or gas stations can contain higher levels of
benzene than in other areas.
Benzene leaks from
underground storage tanks or from hazardous waste sites containing
benzene can contaminate well water. People working in industries
that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of
A major source of benzene exposure is tobacco