• Elements and Compounds

Why is benzene in the human body?

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βˆ™ 2007-06-19 23:56:00

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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 it.

    A major source of benzene exposure is tobacco smoke.

2007-06-19 23:56:00
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