Benzene also found In Food and Water

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Benzene is broadly used in the United States. It ranks in the best 20 synthetics for generation volume. Benzene is a substance that is a drab or light-yellow fluid at room temperature. It has a sweet smell and is exceedingly combustible. Benzene vanishes into the air very quickly. Its vapor is heavier than air and may sink into low-lying regions. Benzene breaks up just marginally in water and will coast over the water (ATSDR, 2007).

A few industries use benzene to make different synthetic substances that are utilized to make plastics, saps, and nylon and manufactured filaments. Benzene is likewise used to make a few kinds of greases, rubbers, colors, cleansers, medications, and pesticides (ATSDR, 2007).

The high levels of benzene were found in specific production lots of the drinks, the FDA said. Benzene, a substance connected to leukemia, can frame in soda pops containing two ingredients: Vitamin C, likewise called ascorbic corrosive, and both two additives: sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate (FDA, 2006).

Benzene Exposure and Toxic Effect

  • Inhalation: Pumping gas, tobacco smoke
  • Ingestion: contaminated drinking water, and food sources
  • Dermal: Contaminated groundwater 

Toxic Effect- High-level exposure

  • headaches
  • confusion
  • unconsciousness 
  • death

Low-Level exposure

  • Impair production of blood cells
  • Anemia
  • Leukemia

Other effects 

  • Low birthweight
  • Delayed bone formation
  • Bone marrow damage

The principal of Environmental HealthBenzene Metabolic Pathway

Eating nourishments or drinking beverages containing abnormal amounts of benzene can make the accompanying side effects inside minutes a few hours, for example, Vomiting, Irritation of the stomach, Dizziness, Sleepiness, Convulsions, Rapid or irregular heartbeat and death (at very high levels) (CDC, 2018). Benzene is known to cause disease, considering proof from concentrates in the two individuals and lab creatures. The connection between benzene and malignancy has concentrated on leukemia and different tumors of platelets (American Cancer Society, 2016).

Two major sources of benzene

  • Cigarette smoking – smokers and secondhand smokers.
  • Gasoline – aerosol

Regulations  – OSHA

1971 – 10ppm TLVs (Threshold Limit Values)

1978 – 1ppm TLVs, reduce to this level based on evidence of benzene’s carcinogenicity

Benzene can pass into the air from water and soil surfaces. Once in the air, benzene reacts with other chemicals and breaks down within a few days. Benzene in the air can also be deposited on the ground by rain or snow. Benzene in water and soil breaks down more slowly. Benzene is slightly soluble in water and can pass through the soil into underground water. Benzene in the environment does not build up in plants or animals (American Cancer Society, 2016).

The concoction likewise tainted in the Kentucky water as known as the Ethylbenzene. Basic wellsprings of ethylbenzene are released from oil refineries and releasing underground gas stockpiling tanks. The potential wellbeing impacts incorporate liver or kidney harm. The EPA has set an MCL for ethylbenzene of 0.7 mg/L. The information store contained 425 ethylbenzene estimations at 224 destinations Ethylbenzene fixations surpassed diagnostic discovery limits at eight locales. Three of these are springs in the Lower Cumberland River watershed of the Western Pennyroyal Region; four are shallow (under 60 ft profound) wells in the Ohio River watershed of the Jackson Purchase, and one is a well of unreported profundity in the Upper Cumberland River watershed of Eastern Kentucky Coal Field. Ethylbenzene did not surpass the MCL in the venture region (Kentucky Geological Survey, 2002).

A multimedia transport model was used to evaluate the environmental partitioning of benzene. Measured and predicted environmental concentrations were used to estimate the accumulation of benzene in the food chain and the subsequent extent of human exposure from inhalation and ingestion. Results show that benzene partitions mainly into the air (99.9%) and that inhalation is the dominant pathway of human exposure, accounting for more than 99% of the total daily intake of benzene. Ingestion of contaminated food items represents only a minor pathway of human exposure. The long-term average daily intake of benzene by the general population of the U.S. was estimated using three independent methods. Intake estimates based on measured personal air exposures, measured exhaled air concentrations, and an electromagnetically derived adipose tissue concentration (73, 63, and 72 micrograms/day, respectively) are in good agreement. Although inhalation is the primary route of human exposure to background levels of benzene in the environment, smoking was found to be the largest anthropocentric source of background human exposure to benzene (Hattemer-Frey, Travis, & Land, 1990).


1. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2006, May 19). Chemical Contaminants – Determination of Benzene in Soft Drinks and Other Beverages. Retrieved from
2. CDC | Facts About Benzene. (2018, April 04). Retrieved from
3. American Cancer Society, Benzene and Cancer Risk. (5, January 2016). Retrieved April 22, 2019, from
4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2007. Toxicological profile for Benzene. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.
5. Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS), Benzene, The Volatile Organic Compounds. (2002). Retrieved April 22, 2019, from
6. Hattemer-Frey, H. A., Travis, C. C., & Land, M. L. (1990). Benzene: Environmental partitioning and human exposure. Environmental Research, 53(2), 221-232. doi:10.1016/s0013-9351(05)80120-3

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