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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM) 

Benzene Toxicity

Course: SS3039
Revision Date: June 2000
Original Date: October 1992
CE Expiration Date: June 30, 2006

Key Concepts

Benzene is an important commercial commodity that, because of its frequent use, has become widespread in the environment of developed countries.
In the United States, gasoline contains up to 2% benzene by volume; in other countries, the benzene concentration in gasoline may be as high as 5%.
Benzene in the workplace has been associated with aplastic anemia and leukemia.


ATSDR/DTEM Revision Authors:

Diane Drew, RN, MPA; Deanna K. Harkins, MD, MPH; Ralph O'Connor Jr, PhD; Felicia Pharagood-Wade, MD, FACEP; Pamela Tucker, MD

ATSDR/DTEM Revision Planners

William Carter, MD; Diane Dennis-Flagler, MPH; Patricia Drehobl, RN, MPH (CDC/PHPPO); Kim Gehle, MD, MPH; Darlene Johnson, RN, BSN, MA

Edited By

Pamela S. Wigington; Beverly Harris

Original Contributor

Arthur L. Frank MD, PhD; Sophie Balk, MD

Original Peer Reviewers

John Ambre, MD; Charles Becker, MD; Jonathan Borak, MD; Joseph Cannella, MD; Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH; Howard Kipen, MD, MPH; Jonathan Rodnick, MD; Brian A. Wummer, MD

Each content expert for this case study indicated no conflict of interest to disclose with the case study subject matter.

ATSDR Publication No.: ATSDR-HE-CS-2001-000


This monograph is one in a series of self-instructional publications designed to increase the primary care provider's knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to aid in the evaluation of potentially exposed patients. See the Accreditation section for more information about continuing medical education credits, continuing nursing education units, and continuing education units.


The state of knowledge regarding the treatment of patients potentially exposed to hazardous substances in the environment is constantly evolving and is often uncertain. In this monograph, ATSDR has made diligent effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information presented, but makes no claim that the document comprehensively addresses all possible situations related to this substance. This monograph is intended as an additional resource for physicians and other health professionals in assessing the condition and managing the treatment of patients potentially exposed to hazardous substances. It is not, however, a substitute for the professional judgment of a health care provider. The document must be interpreted in light of specific information regarding the patient and in conjunction with other sources of authority.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseas Registry or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Revised 2000-06-30.