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What is Benzene?

What is Benzene?

industrial paint runoff

*Common source of Benzene, commercial paints.

So what is Benzene, anyway?

Benzene is a volatile, clear, sweet smelling liquid used as a gasoline additive in production of consumer products such as paint dyes, insecticides and cosmetics. Benzene is highly flammable and is produced naturally in forest fires and volcanic activity. 

Is Benzene safe to drink?

The short answer is no. Benzene is extremely dangerous for your health. The federal government however has established that the maximum contaminant level for Benzene is 5 ppb (parts per billion).

How does Benzene get into our drinking water?

Common ways that Benzene can find it's way into your tap is through gas storage leaking, industrial processing, and landfills. 

industrial waste common source of benzene

*Industrial processing and waste is a source of Benzene

How does Benzene effect one's health?

Consuming high levels of Benzene over a long period time can cause the following health issues:

  • Central Nervous system dysfunction
  • Extensive hemmoraging
  • Pancytopenia 
  • Increase one's risk for certain cancers 
  • See EPA for full list

How do you remove Benzene from your drinking water?

Do not boil your water! No evidence exists for this purification method. Boiling Benzene, in fact, increases your risk for Benzene inhalation.

The best method for removing Benzene at your home is a granular activated charcoal filter such as a filter pitcher or home system. 

**All information taken and summarized from Oregon Health Authority. Read the complete article and learn more by following this link.