Air around waste sites and gas service stations; Contaminated well water, as a result of benzene leaks from underground storage tanks or hazardous waste sites containing benzene After you have washed yourself, place your clothing inside a plastic bag. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Limit or avoid exposure to fumes from solvents, paints, and art supplies, especially in unventilated spaces. Skin exposure to benzene can result in redness and blisters. Please try again. These include the rubber industry, oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe manufacturers, and gasoline-related industries. Any clothing that has to be pulled over the head should be cut off the body instead of pulled over the head. Benzene is commonly found in air in both urban and rural areas, but the levels are usually very low. Become a volunteer, make a tax-deductible donation, or participate in a fundraising event to help us save lives. If you’ve experienced these symptoms following exposure to benzene in any of the above listed contexts, contact your doctor or go directly to a medical facility for testing.Â, Medical professionals use several tests to determine whether you’ve been overexposed to benzene, each of which measures benzene levels in your blood, breath, or urine. The EPA limits the percentage of benzene allowed in gasoline to an average of 0.62% by volume (with a maximum of 1.3%). When the local or state health department or emergency personnel arrive, tell them what you did with your clothes. To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stay away from cigarette smoke. Until we do, we’ll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link. Microsoft Edge. 2013. If the benzene release was outside, move away from the area where the benzene was released. If you have been injured, it's in your best interests to speak with a toxic torts lawyer. 2003. The EPA classifies benzene as a known human carcinogen. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. The benzene molecule is composed of six carbon atoms joined in a planar ring with one hydrogen atom attached to each. Cigarette smoke accounts for about half of the exposure to benzene in the United States. Website: www.cdc.gov/niosh In the past it was also commonly used as an industrial solvent (a substance that can dissolve or extract other substances) and as a gasoline additive, but these uses have been greatly reduced in recent decades. Workers in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to this chemical. Imagine a world free from cancer. At one time, benzene was obtained almost entirely from coal tar; however, since about 1950, these methods have been replaced by petroleum-based processes. Consuming foods or fluids contaminated with high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, stomach irritation, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and rapid heart rate. Cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. We’ve invested more than $4.9 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life. 2015. The health department or emergency personnel will arrange for further disposal. It is absolutely critical that you do not delay. All so you can live longer — and better. Rinsky RA, Smith AB, Hornung R, et al. The main way people are exposed is by breathing in air containing benzene. The vomit could be sucked into their lungs and damage their lungs. Â. Accessed at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/benzene.pdf on October 15, 2015. A low white blood cell count, which can lower the body’s ability to fight infections and might even be life-threatening. The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person. Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions. The following is a list of processes, products, activities, occupations, industries, and places wherein benzene can be found: Occupations/People Who May Be Exposed To Benzene, Benzene overexposure is linked to the development of the following symptoms: drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. These tests can only detect recent exposures to benzene. Benzene is widely used in the United States. New Engl J Med. Facts About Benzene. Certainly, over-exposure to benzene in any setting might generate a legal claim against the institution or person that caused the exposure. Anemia (a low red blood cell count), which can cause a person to feel weak and tired. However, most studies in humans have not found an increased risk of cancers other than leukemia among people with higher exposures. Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to benzene.