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CHEMINFO Record Number: 179
CCOHS Chemical Name: Benzene

Carbon oil
Coal naphtha
Phenyl hydride

Chemical Name French: Benzène
Chemical Name Spanish: Benceno
CAS Registry Number: 71-43-2
UN/NA Number(s): 1114
RTECS Number(s): CY1400000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 200-753-7
Chemical Family: Aromatic hydrocarbon / benzene
Molecular Formula: C6-H6
Structural Formula: C6H6 (Benzene ring)


Appearance and Odour:
Clear, colourless liquid with a characteristic, aromatic hydrocarbon odour.(3,30,31)

Odour Threshold:
61 ppm (detection); 97 ppm (recognition). Reported values range from 0.78-160 ppm.(31)

Warning Properties:
POOR - Odour threshold is above the TLV.

Can contain small amounts of toluene and xylene.

Uses and Occurrences:
Benzene is produced from petroleum and coal sources. It is used mainly in the manufacture of ethyl benzene (55%), cumene (24%), cyclohexane (12%), nitrobenzene (5%), detergent alkylate, chlorobenzenes and maleic anhydride. Benzene is a very minor component of gasoline. Its commercial use as a solvent has practically been eliminated because of its toxicity. However, it continues to be used as a solvent and reactant in laboratories.(1,30)


Clear, colourless liquid with a characteristic, aromatic hydrocarbon odour. EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Can accumulate static charge by flow or agitation. Vapour is heavier than air and may spread long distances. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. Can decompose at high temperatures forming toxic gases. Harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Central nervous system depressant. Vapour may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. May cause blood and bone marrow effects, based on animal data. Causes skin and eye irritation. Aspiration hazard. Swallowing or vomiting of the liquid may result in aspiration into the lungs. CANCER HAZARD - can cause cancer. MUTAGEN - may cause genetic damage.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Short-term exposure causes depression of the central nervous system (CNS), marked by drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of coordination, confusion and unconsciousness. No effects are expected at 25 ppm. Exposure to 50 to 150 ppm produces headache, and tiredness.(4) Nose and throat irritation have also been reported following short-term exposure. A period of feeling excited or giddy may precede the onset of other symptoms. Exposure to approximately 20,000 ppm for 5 to 10 minutes may result in death.(1,8)
In general, blood and immune system effects have not been documented in humans following short-term exposures, although these effects have been seen in animals. A 1992 report describes blood system effects in workers exposed to high levels of benzene (estimated to be above 60 ppm) for several days. The workers were also exposed to other chemicals at the same time. In addition to CNS symptoms experienced during the exposure, 9 of the 15 workers had at least 1 blood system abnormality when followed up 4 months later. One year later, 6 workers still had changes in the blood system (numerous large granular lymphocytes).(8)

Skin Contact:
Animal evidence has shown that benzene is moderately irritating. Human studies have demonstrated that absorption of liquid benzene or its vapours occurs only to a small extent, but can contribute to overall exposure.(1) There are no reports of skin sensitization.

Eye Contact:
The vapour can be irritating to the eyes.(8) Animal evidence indicates that splashes of benzene in the eyes will be moderately irritating but will not cause permanent injury.

Benzene is readily absorbed following ingestion producing CNS depression with symptoms as described under inhalation.(1,3) There are no human reports of blood or immune system effects resulting from ingestion, although these effects have been observed in animal experiments.
In one case report, accidental ingestion and/or attempted suicide with benzene produced pneumonitis (probably caused by aspiration of benzene into the lungs) as one of the symptoms.(1) Based on this observation, the physical properties (viscosity and surface tension) and the fact that benzene is a petroleum distillate, benzene can probably be aspirated. Aspiration is the inhalation of a material into the lungs during ingestion or vomiting. Severe lung irritation, damage to the lung tissues and death may result.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

SKIN : Prolonged or repeated contact causes redness, dryness, cracking (dermatitis) due to the defatting action of this solvent.(1)

BLOOD AND BLOOD-FORMING ORGANS: Although there are limitations to some of the numerous studies, it is conclusive that benzene causes a serious condition where the number of circulating red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes) and clotting cells (thrombocytes) is reduced (pancytopenia). At this stage, effects are thought to be readily reversible. However, continued exposure can result in aplastic anemia or leukemia. Benzene also damages the bone marrow, where new blood cells are produced, resulting in aplastic anemia, which can lead to leukemia.
Typical effects of benzene on the blood system were observed in one study where 217 workers were exposed to 30 to 210 ppm for 3 months to 17 years.(1,4,25) Two studies have shown that low level exposures (less than 1.4 ppm) for long periods of time (up to 21 years) have not resulted in any blood effects.(1.9)

IMMUNE SYSTEM : Studies of workers have found changes in the immune system, which are at least partially related to the changes in the blood system discussed above.(1,4)

NERVOUS SYSTEM: Two limited studies (there was exposure to other chemicals and exposure levels were not well established) suggest that benzene may cause effects on the peripheral nerves and/or spinal cord. Symptoms included an increased incidence of headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and memory loss among workers with significant exposures.(1)


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity to humans. There are common limitations in the human studies because exposures usually cannot be accurately assessed, the numbers of cases is small and frequently there is exposure to other chemicals. However, there are so many case reports and epidemiologic studies of exposed workers, that a causal relationship between benzene exposure and leukemia has been clearly established. Benzene exposure has also been associated with cancer of the lymph system (lymphoma), lung cancer and bladder (urothelial) cancer.(1,13)
There is one study with low level exposures. The median levels of exposure between 1952 and 1978 were 0.14 ppm for refinery workers and 0.53 ppm for benzene-related units. There were no leukemia deaths in the group and there was no increase in any type of cancer, compared to a similar group or the general population of the United States.(1)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that this chemical is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has designated this chemical as a confirmed human carcinogen (A1).

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has listed this chemical as a known human carcinogen.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
Benzene crosses the placenta but there is no conclusive evidence that it affects the fetus. Most of the studies had limitations such as poor exposure assessment, exposure to other chemicals and a small number of cases.
In a case study of one woman exposed to benzene during two pregnancies (at levels producing severe maternal toxicity), both children were healthy and did not have chromosomal alterations. In another study, 14 children of female workers exposed to benzene and other organic solvents did have chromosomal changes. There was no discussion of maternal toxicity nor birth defects.(1) Animal evidence indicates that benzene is not teratogenic, but is fetotoxic at exposure levels which also resulted in mild maternal toxicity.(1,3,22,23)

Reproductive Toxicity:
Although there are concerns that historical, high occupational exposures to benzene may be related to menstrual and reproductive problems in women, the available studies have too many limitations to draw any conclusions.(1) Limited animal evidence suggests that benzene may affect reproductive organs at exposure levels which also cause significant toxicity.(2.24)

Despite many limitations, virtually all studies have found positive evidence of mutagenic effects in exposed workers, usually at exposure levels that also produced changes to the blood system. Reports have included chromosomal aberrations in peripheral lymphocytes, clastogenic (DNA) effects as well as damaged chromosomes in hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells.(1) A recent study analyzed chromosome aberrations in workers exposed to levels less than 10 ppm, with occasional peaks of about 100 ppm. There was a slight increase in the incidence of chromosomal aberrations in the exposed group, however this appeared to be caused by the results of few individuals rather than the group as a whole.(14) In another study, peripheral lymphocytes of a group of 20 female workers exposed to less than 5 ppm benzene (as well as 100 ppm toluene) were examined. There was a significantly increased incidence of DNA damage. In workers who were reexamined 4 months after exposure stopped, the damage had decreased significantly.(15)

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
Studies with animals have shown that ethanol increases the blood system changes caused by benzene. Exposure to toluene slows the rate of clearance of benzene by competing for metabolic pathways.(1)

Potential for Accumulation:
Benzene is readily absorbed by inhalation or ingestion and is rapidly distributed throughout the body, particularly in fatty tissues. Metabolism occurs primarily in the liver and to a lesser extent in the bone marrow, producing intermediates which account for the toxicity of benzene.(1,13) In humans, the half life is 1 to 2 days. Accumulation is not expected for benzene or its metabolites.(10) Benzene is primarily exhaled through the lungs, unchanged or excreted as metabolites in the urine.(4)


This product is flammable. Take proper precautions (e.g. remove any sources of ignition). Take proper precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue; e.g., wear appropriate protective equipment. Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing, if necessary. As quickly as possible, flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 20 minutes or until chemical is removed. Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Obtain medical attention immediately. Discard contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands and belts).

Eye Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 20 minutes, or until the chemical is removed while holding the eyelid(s) open. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the non-affected eye. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Never give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, or is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water to dilute material in stomach. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Repeat administration of water. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility..

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest). Consult a physician and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a physician familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
-11 deg C (12 deg F) (closed cup) (28)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.2% (28)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
7.8% (28)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
498 deg C (928 deg F) (28)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Insufficient information. Probably not sensitive, since it is a stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Can accumulate static charge by flow or agitation due to the low conductivity of benzene.(29) Vapours in the flammable range may be ignited by a static discharge. Details are not available.

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Irritating aldehydes and ketones.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Extremely flammable liquid. Vapours can readily ignite at room temperature. Liquid can accumulate static charge by flow or agitation. Vapour can be ignited by a static discharge. Vapour is heavier than air and may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. During a fire, irritating/toxic gases may be generated. Benzene can accumulate in confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity and flammability hazard. Containers may explode in heat of fire.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol foam, polymer foam, water spray or fog. Water may be ineffective because it will not cool benzene below its flash point.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or a protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Stop leak before attempting to stop the fire. If the leak cannot be stopped, and if there is no risk to the surrounding area, let the fire burn itself out. If the flames are extinguished without stopping the leak, vapours could form explosive mixtures with air and reignite.
Closed containers may explode in the heat of the fire. Isolate materials not yet involved in the fire and protect personnel. Move containers from fire area if this can be done without risk. Keep cooling streams of water on fire-exposed tanks or containers to minimize the risk of rupture.
Water may be ineffective for fighting fires involving benzene because of its low flash point, unless used under favourable conditions by experienced firefighters trained in fighting all types of flammable liquid fires. However, water can be used on low flash point liquids when applied as a spray to absorb heat and protect exposed material of structures. If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For a massive fire in a large area, use unmanned hose holder or monitor nozzles. If this is not possible, withdraw from fire area and allow fire to burn. Stay away from ends of tanks. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire.
Benzene and its decomposition products are extremely hazardous to health. Do not enter any fire area without specialized protective equipment suitable for the occasion. Firefighter's normal protective equipment (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. Chemical resistant clothing (e.g. chemical splash suit) and positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.


NFPA - Health: 1 - Exposure would cause significant irritation, but only minor residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 3 - Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 78.11

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 3.19 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.31 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: 5.5 deg C (42 deg F) (1,3,4)
Boiling Point: 80 deg C (176 deg F) (29)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.877 at 20 deg C (water = 1)
Solubility in Water: Slightly soluble; 180 mg/100 mL of water at 25 deg C (3,29)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions in ethanol, chloroform, diethyl ether, carbon disulfide, acetone, oils, carbon tetrachloride and glacial acetic acid.(3)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Lot P(oct) = 1.18-1.9; 2.13; 2.15 (1)
pH Value: Not applicable
Vapour Density: 2.7 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 10 kPa (75 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (3); 12.7 kPa (95.2 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (1)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 9.9% (98700 ppm) at 20 deg C; 12.5% (approximately 125300 ppm) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: 2.8 times slower than diethyl ether = 1 (30)
Critical Temperature: 288.9 deg C (552 deg F) (30)

Other Physical Properties:
VISCOSITY-DYNAMIC: 0.647 mPa.s (0.647 centipoises) at 20 deg C (30)
SURFACE TENSION: 28.9 dynes/cm at 20 deg C (30)
CRITICAL PRESSURE: 4,925 kPa (48.6 atm) (30)


Normally stable.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

SODIUM PEROXIDE, POTASSIUM PEROXIDE - spontaneously flammable.(28)
CHROMIC ANHYDRIDE, PERMANGANIC ACID - can explode on contact.(28,32)
CHLORINE - can explode.(28)
NITRIC ACID, OZONE, DIBORANE, INTERHALOGENS (e.g. bromine trifluoride, bromine pentafluoride, chloride trifluoride, iodine pentafluoride, iodine heptafluoride), DIOXYGEN DIFLUORIDE, DIOXYGENYL TETRAFLUOROBORATE, PERMANGANIC ACID, PEROXODISULFURIC ACID, PEROXOMONOSULFURIC ACID - may react violently or explosively with risk of fire.(28,30,32)
METAL PERCHLORATES (e.g. silver perchlorate) - if recrystallized from benzene, can explode spontaneously.(28)
NITRYL PERCHLORATE - reaction with benzene can give a slight explosion and flash.(28,32)
URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE - reacts vigorously.(32)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None known.

Conditions to Avoid:
Static charge, sparks, open flames, heat and other ignition sources.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive to metals.

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Attacks rubber and plastics.(29)


LC50 (rat): 13,700 ppm (4 hour exposure) (26); 9,980 ppm (7 hour exposure) (13,200 ppm - equivalent 4 hour exposure) (18)

LD50 (oral, rat): 930 mg/kg (19); 5,600 mg/kg (2); 11.4 ml/kg (10,032 mg/kg) (21)
LD50 (oral, mouse): 4,700 mg/kg (11; unconfirmed)

LD50 (skin, rabbit and guinea pig): Greater than 9,400 mg/kg (20)

Eye Irritation:

Application of 2 drops produced moderate irritation in rabbits with very slight, temporary injury to the cornea.(2) Application of 0.1 mL (88 mg) in a Standard Draize test produced moderate eye irritation in rabbits.(21)

Skin Irritation:

In a Standard Draize test, slight to moderate irritation and moderate tissue death (necrosis) was produced in rabbits.(2) In an Open Draize test, 0.01 ml (8.8 mg) produced mild skin irritation in rabbits.(21)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

The immediately noticeable effect is depression of the central nervous system (CNS) with drowsiness, incoordination and unconsciousness, eventually leading to death.(1) On autopsy, slight liver, and sometimes kidney, changes were noted.(2) In many studies, short-term exposure to very low levels by inhalation or ingestion has caused very harmful changes to the blood and immune systems. All major types of blood cells, including red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells are susceptible. Two common effects are a decreased number of lymphocytes (cells which produce antibodies) (lymphocytopenia) and a reduced number of red blood cells (anemia). Mice exposed continuously by inhalation to 21 ppm for 4 to 10 days, showed significant changes in all blood parameters tested. Concentrations as low as 10 ppm have caused immunological changes in rats. Some effects may be reversible once exposure stops.(1,13) A few studies have been reported regarding potential behavioural effects of benzene. Increased behavioural activity (sleeping, grooming, locomotion and fighting) was observed in mice following exposure to 300 or 900 ppm for 5 days.(1) The significance of these changes is not known.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

EFFECTS ON THE BLOOD AND BLOOD-FORMING ORGANS: Extensive studies have conclusively proven that oral and inhalation exposure to benzene causes severe effects on the blood system, including damaging the bone marrow where new blood cells are formed. Most studies report a decrease in hemoglobin, hematocrit, red and white blood cells, platelets and/or changes in the cells. Effects of varying severity have been demonstrated with both intermittent and continuous exposures to concentrations as low as 10 ppm for 24 weeks.(1,3) EFFECTS ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Studies have also conclusively shown that benzene causes harmful changes to the immune system which protects the body from disease. Benzene has decreased the number of mature B- and T- lymphocytes (white blood cells which produce disease-fighting antibodies). Exposure of mice to 300 ppm for 6 to 23 weeks resulted in a decrease in the number of mature B- and T-lymphocytes. Rats and mice exposed orally to 25 to 200 mg/kg/day for 2 years had significantly reduced white blood cells and lymphocytes.(1)

Skin Sensitization:
One report of skin sensitization in guinea pigs cannot be confirmed.(4)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of benzene in animals. Benzene is known to be carcinogenic in humans.(12) Inhalation and ingestion studies with rats and mice have shown cancer of the lymph system (lymphoma), the blood (leukemia), and the bone marrow (myeloma), as well as tumours of the liver, zymbal gland, mammary gland, lungs, thymus, nasal and oral cavities. Inhalation exposures were in the range of 100 to 1,200 ppm while ingestion exposures were 25 to 500 mg/kg, usually for the lifetime of the animal.(1,12,13)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
Many studies have been conducted on rats, mice and rabbits, primarily with inhalation exposures and with concentrations ranging up to 2,200 ppm. Results show that benzene is not teratogenic or embryotoxic even at levels that caused maternal toxicity. Fetal toxicity (reduced birth weight and/or minor skeletal variations) was observed at exposures above 50 ppm. In these studies, mild maternal toxicity was also seen (reduced weight gain).(1,3,22,23)

Reproductive Toxicity:
Benzene does not appear to cause reproductive toxicity. Effects on reproductive organs (testes and ovaries) have been shown at doses which caused other significant signs of toxicity in the animals.(2.24) Female rats were exposed to up to 300 ppm, 6 hours per day, from 10 weeks pre-mating through nursing of the offspring with no effect on female reproductive performance.(5) In another study, where female rats were exposed continuously to 210 ppm 10 to 15 days before and 3 weeks after mating, there were no litters. There are no further details available for interpretation of this study.(1)

Benzene has been extensively examined in mutagenicity studies with rats and mice with positive results in virtually all tests reported. Analyses of bone marrow and lymphocytes of animals exposed to concentrations as low as 1 ppm have found increases in chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei. Other studies have shown changes in DNA in certain cell types.(1) Recent studies have focused on mutagenesis with low-level short-term exposures. Prolonged exposure of mice to levels at or below 1 ppm (40, 100 and 1000 ppb for 22 hours per day for 6 weeks), produced an increase in mutations in lymphocytes at the two lower exposure levels.(6,7)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Toxicological profile for benzene. (TP-92/03). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1993.
(2) Wolf, M.A., et al. Toxicological studies of certain alkylated benzenes and benzene: experiments on laboratory animals. A.M.A. Archives of Industrial Health. Vol. 14 (1956). p. 387-398
(3) Benzene. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th Edition. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1991. p. 108-120
(4) Cavender, F. Aromatic hydrocarbons. In: Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. Edited by G.D. Clayton, et al. 4th. edition. Vol. II, Part B. Toxicology. John Wiley and Sons, 1994. p. 1301-1326
(5) Kuna, R.A., et al. A female rat fertility study with inhaled benzene. Journal of the American College of Toxicology. Vol. 11, no. 3 (1992). p. 275-282
(6) Au, W.W., et al. Chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes of mice after sub-acute low-level inhalation exposure to benzene. Mutation Research. Vol. 260 (1991). p. 219-224
(7) Ward, J.B., Jr., et al. The mutagenic effects of low level sub-acute inhalation exposure to benzene in CD-1 mice. Mutation Research. Vol. 268, no. 1 (July, 1992). p. 49-57
(8) Midzenski, M.A., et al. Acute high dose exposure to benzene in shipyard workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol. 22 (1992). p. 553-565
(9) Collins, J.J, et al. A study of the hematologic effects of chronic low-level exposure to benzene. Journal of Occupational Medicine. Vol. 33, no 5 (May, 1991) p. 619-626
(10) Goldstein, B.D., et al. Benzene. In: Environmental toxicants: human exposures and their effects. Edited by M. Lippmann. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. p. 76-97
(11) RTECS record for benzene. Date of last update: 9406.
(12) IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: overall evaluations of carcinogenicity: an updating of IARC Monographs volumes 1 to 42. Supplement 7. International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1987. p. 120-122
(13) Benzene. Canadian environmental protection act. Priority substances list assessment report. Environment Canada, 1993
(14) Yardley-Jones, A., et al.. Analysis of chromosomal aberrations in workers exposed to low level benzene. British Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol.47 (1990). p. 48-51
(15) Popp, W., et al. Investigations of the frequency of DNA strand breakage and cross-linking and of sister chromatid exchange frequency in the lymphocytes of female workers exposed to benzene and toluene. Carcinogenesis. Vol.13, no.1 (January, 1992). p. 57-61
(16) Rinsky, R.A., et al. Re: "Benzene and leukemia: a review of the literature and a risk assessment". (Letter). American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol.129, no.5 (1989). p. 1084-1086
(17) Infante, P.F. Benzene and leukemia: the 0.1 ppm ACGIH proposed threshold limit value for benzene. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Vol.7, no.4 (April, 1992). p. 253-262
(18) Svirbely, J.L., et al. The acute toxicity of vapors of certain solvents containing appreciable amounts of benzene and toluene. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 25, no. 8 (October, 1943). p. 366- 373
(19) Cornish, H.H., et al. Metabolism of benzene in nonfasted, fasted, and aryl-hydroxylase inhibited rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 7 (1965). p. 767-771
(20) Roudabush, R.L., et al. Comparative acute effects of some chemicals on the skin of rabbits and guinea pigs. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 7 (1965). p. 559-565
(21) Smyth, H.F., Jr., et al. Range-finding toxicity data: list VI. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 23 no. 1 (January-February, 1962). p. 95-107
(22) Mehlman, M.A., et al. Current status of benzene teratology: a brief review. Journal of Environmental Pathology and Toxicology. Vol. 4 (1980). p. 123-131
(23) Schwetz, B.A. A review of the developmental toxicity of benzene. In: Carcinogenicity and toxicity of benzene. Edited by M.A. Mehlman. Princeton Scientific Publishers Inc., 1983. p. 17-21
(24) Ward, C.O., et al. Subchronic inhalation toxicity of benzene in rats and mice. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol. 7 (1985). p. 457- 473
(25) Snyder, R., et al. A perspective on benzene leukemogenesis. Critical Reviews in Toxicology. Vol. 24, no. 3 (1994). p. 177-209
(26) Drew, R.T., et al. The lack of effects of pretreatment with phenobarbital and chlorpromazine on the acute toxicity of benzene in rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 27 (1974). p. 183-193
(27) Report on Carcinogens. 11th ed. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program
(28) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325; NFPA 49; NFPA 491
(29) Chemical safety sheets: working safely with hazardous chemicals. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. p. 96
(30) HSDB record for benzene. Date of last update: 9311
(31) Odor thresholds for chemicals with established occupational health standards. American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1989. p. 13, 47
(32) Bretherick, L. Bretherick's handbook of reactive chemical hazards. 4th edition. Butterworths, 1990. p. 51, 60, 90, 92-93, 612-613, 982, 1110, 1121-1123, 1126-1127, 1146
(33) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. NIOSH, June 1994. p. 26-27
(34) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002
(35) European Communities (EC). Commission Directive 2004/73/EC. Apr. 29, 2004
(36) Emergency Response Planning Guidelines for Benzene. American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1996
(37) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Benzene. In: OSHA Analytical Methods Manual. Revision Date: Oct. 31, 2001. Available at: <>
(38) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Benzene by portable GC. In: NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM(R)). 4th ed. Edited by M.E. Cassinelli, et al. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. Aug. 1994. Available at: <>
(39) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Hydrocarbons, Aromatic. In: NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM(R)). 4th ed. Edited by M.E. Cassinelli, et al. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. Aug. 1994. Available at: <>
(40) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Volatile Organic Compounds (Screening). In: NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM(R)). 4th ed. Edited by M.E. Cassinelli, et al. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. Aug. 1994. Available at: <>

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 1995-02-28

Revision Indicators:
Sampling 1995-11-01
Respiratory guidelines 1995-11-01
EU number 1995-11-01
EU safety 1995-11-01
ERPG 1996-09-01
TLV-TWA 1997-09-01
TLV-STEL 1997-09-01
US transport 1998-03-01
TLV comments 1998-08-01
WHMIS (proposed class) 2000-06-01
WHMIS (detailed class) 2000-06-01
TDG 2002-05-27
Carcinogenicity 2002-12-17
NFPA (health) 2003-04-14
PEL-STEL transitional 2003-07-29
PEL-TWA transitional 2004-02-02
PEL-C transitional 2004-02-02
PEL transitional comments 2004-02-02
PEL-TWA final 2004-02-02
PEL-STEL final 2004-02-02
PEL final comments 2004-02-02
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-03-29
EU classification 2004-11-29
EU risks 2004-11-29
EU comments 2004-11-29
Bibliography 2005-02-02
Bibliography 2005-03-14
Passive Sampling Devices 2005-03-14
Sampling/analysis 2005-03-14

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