What is It?
-Industrial processes are the main sources of Benzene in the environment as a consequence from burning: coal, oil and motor vehicle exhaust.
-Benzene is made mostly from petroleum.
Why is it in the environment?
-Benzene is used in the production of styrene (plastics and synthetic rubber), phenol (phenolic resins), nylon, polyester resins, detergents and a number of other products, including dyes and insecticides.
How does it affect water quality?
-Benzene in the water breaks down slowly; however, if benzene is released to water, it is prone to rapid evaporation or volatilization.
-Benzene is not known to bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms.
How does it affect adults?
-Benzene exposure in food or drink allows the substnace to pass through the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and enter your bloodstream.
-It is then stored in bone marrow and fat tissues.
-Metabolites are formed by the body as a result.
-Many of the harmful effects due to Benzene exposure are caused by these metabolites.
-Drinking liquids containing Benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, rapid heart rate, coma, and death.
-Benzene exposure can create a decrease in red blood cells and a state of anemia.
-Long-term exposure to Benzene can cause a particular type of leukemia called acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
-Prolonged exposure to Benzene has the potential to cause chromosomal irregularity in people.
How does it affect children?
-Exposure to benzene may be harmful to the reproductive organs.
-Benzene can pass from the mother's blood to a fetus.
-It is not known if children are more susceptible to benzene poisoning than adults.
What are the EPA regulations?
-MCL: 0.005 mg/L