Toxno Substance Profile
Evidence-based data. We have more than 25,000 profiles on Toxno.
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Substance Name

Benzene
Identification Number: CASRN | 71-43-2

  Substance Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Mutagenic Properties

    Cause mutations to Genetic material like DNA, RNA or mitochondrial DNA

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Volatile - Evaporates easily

    This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Chemical Found in Air near CSG Operations | Pit Chemicals | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Cigarette Toxin | Pesticide | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | CSG Fracking BTEX Chemicals | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives
  • SYNONYMS: Annulene | Aromatic alkane | Benzeen | Benzen | Benzin | Benzine | Benzinum | Benzol | Benzol 90 | Benzole | Benzolene | Benzolo | Benzolum | Bicarburet of hydrogen | BNZ | Carbon oil | Coal naphtha | Cyclohexatriene | Fenzen | Mineral naphtha | Motor benzol | Phene | Phenyl hydride | Polystream | Pyrobenzol | Pyrobenzole | RNG
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Benzene is a toxic, volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon biproduct of coal distillation. Chronic benzene exposure produces hematotoxicity, bone marrow dysplasia (Displasia is a pre-neoplastic or pre-cancerous change). (A7669). It is used as an industrial solvent in paints, varnishes, lacquer thinners, gasoline, etc. Benzene causes central nervous system damage acutely and is carcinogenic. It was formerly used as parasiticide.
  • COMMENTS: This Chemical is in the category of VOC and is found in Air near CSG Operations

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Highly flammable liquid and vapour. May cause cancer. May cause genetic defects. Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure . May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways. Causes serious eye irritation. Causes skin irritation | Chronic Health Hazard General Health Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C6H6
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | CPDB | T3DB | PubChem | IARC | NTP | EPA_IRIS | OEHHA | TEDX | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | Article-Colborn-Air | EAFUS | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Breathing benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Ingestion can result in vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and rapid heart rate. (L5)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and also decreases blood cell counts, leading to blood disorders such as anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection. Benzene is also a known carcinogen, as chronic exposure to high levels has been shown to cause leukemia, particularly acute myelogenous leukemia. (L5) | Benzene is absorbed readily following inhalation or oral exposure. It enters the bloodstream and is rapidly distributed throughout the body, tending to accumulate in fatty tissues. Benzene is exhaled unchanged by the lungs, as well as metabolized in the liver to benzene oxide by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Benzene oxide is further converted into phenol, catechol, and hydroquinone, which are excreted in the urine as glucuronide or sulfate conjugates. (T7)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: The toxic agents of benzene are its metabolites. Benzene is able increase its toxicity by inducing cytochrome P450 2E1, its main metabolic enzyme. Benzene's primary toxic effects are decreases in haematological cell counts and bone marrow cellularity. The decrease in blood cell count may be due to the binding of metabolites such as benzene oxide to the blood proteins albumin and haemoglobin. In the bone marrow, phenolic metabolites can be metabolized by bone marrow peroxidases to highly reactive semiquinone radicals and quinones that stimulate the production of reactive oxygen species. This and direct metabolite binding leads to damage to tubulin, histone proteins, and topoisomerase II. Some metabolites also exert mutagenic effects by inhibiting other DNA associated proteins, such as mitochondrial DNA polymerase and ribonucleotide reductase, as well as covalently binding to DNA itself, causing effects such as strand breakage, mitotic recombination, chromosome translocations, and aneuploidy. (L5) | The binding of metabolites such as benzene oxide to the blood proteins albumin and haemoglobin lead to decreases in haematological cell counts and bone marrow cellularity. (L5)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Benzene is often used as an intermediate to make chemicals needed for the production of plastics, resins, and nylon and other synthetic fibers. It is also used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Natural sources of benzene include emissions from volcanoes, forest fires, crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. (L5)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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