Benzene By, Jake
What is Benzene? • Benzeneis a colorless, flammableliquidwith a sweetodor. • Itevaporatesquicklywhenexposedtoair. • Benzeneisformedfrom natural processes, such as volcanoes and forestfires, butmostexposuretobenzeneresultsfrom human activities.
What is it used for? • Benzeneisamongthe 20 mostwidelyusedchemicals in theUnitedStates. Itisusedmainly as a solvent • pastitwasalsocommonlyused as a gasolineadditive
How are you exposed? • Themainroute of exposuretobenzeneisbyinhalingcontaminated air. • Benzene can also be absorbed throughthe skin duringcontactwith a sourcesuch as gasoline, butbecauseliquidbenzeneevaporatesquickly, skin absorptionislesscommon.
Workplace exposures • Thehighestexposureshavetypicallybeen in workplace • Workers in industries thatmakeor use benzenemay be exposedtohighlevels of thischemical. • These industries includetherubberindustry, oilrefineries, chemicalplants, shoemanufacturers, and gasoline-related industries.
Community exposures • Sources of benzene in theenvironmentincludegasoline, automobileexhaust fumes, emissionsfromsomefactories, and wastewaterfromcertain industries. • Cigarettesmoking and secondhandsmoke are importantsources of exposuretobenzene. Cigarettesmokeaccountsforabouthalf of the US nationalexposuretobenzene.
What does it cause? • Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and laboratory animals. The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and cancers of other blood cells.
Other effects of Benzene (short-term) • Exposure to benzene liquid or vapor may irritate the skin, eyes, and throat. Skin exposure to benzene may result in redness and blisters. • Breathing in high doses of benzene may affect the central nervous system
Other effects of benzene (long-term) • Long-term exposure to benzene primarily harms the bone marrow, the soft, inner parts of bones where new blood cells are made. • Anemia (a low red blood cell count), which can cause a person to feel weakk. • A low white blood cell count, which can lower the body's abiltyto fight infections and may even be life-threatening
Summary • Benzene is a chemial that causes cancer • Benzene has many other effects short term and long term • Benzene can be found in community areas • Most people are typically exposed to benzene in the workplace • Benzene is widely used as a solvent