What is Benzene?
Benzene is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. It evaporates into the air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. It is highly flammable and is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
Benzene is widely used in the United States; it ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals which are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
Related Resources for Benzene
- Case Study in Environmental Medicine (CSEM)
Self-instructional publication designed to increase primary care provider's knowledge of a hazardous substance in the environment and to aid in the evaluation of potentially exposed patients.
- CERCLA Priority List of Hazardous Substance
Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.
- Interaction Profile
Succintly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for mixtures of hazardous substances.
- Medical Management Guideline (MMG) for Acute Chemical Exposure
Medical Management Guideline (MMG) for Acute Chemical Exposure
Publication intended to aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents.
- Minimal Risk Level (MRL)
Intended to serve as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely.
- Public Health Statement
Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.
Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.
- ToxGuide [PDF, 75 KB]
Quick reference guide providing information such as chemical and physical properties, sources of exposure, routes of exposure, minimal risk levels, children's health, and health effects for a substance.
- Toxicological Profile
Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.
This page was updated on March 19, 2008.