BENZENE

Polluting our waters?

What is it?

Benzene is an organic compound that can find it's way into water sources. Benzene is a volatile organic chemical, meaning it takes very little before it imposes a health risk. It is highly flammable. Benzene is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. Most often, it makes its way into water sources by factory discharge and leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills.


Benzene found in water can lead to anemia, decreased blood platelets, and an increased risk of cancer. Benzene can react with chemicals in the environment creating smog. Benzene in the soil can inhibit plant growth. The pollutant has also been linked to reproductive problems in aquatic animals.


Visit the CNN article on toxic releases for locations within the US for benzene levels: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2010/05/health/map.toxic.chemicals/

What is being done?

Ashley Fairweather