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Benzene Is A Carcinogen Found In Gasoline / Chemical Safety PSA. Public domain video courtesy of NIH.Gasoline contains benzene, depending on the source of gasoline, and countries, ranges of concentration of benzene in gasoline have been reported as 1 to 6%. Gasoline is also used as an industrial solvent and workers commonly experience inhalation and skin exposure. In my practice, it is not unusual to hear from workers that "I washed my hands with gasoline to remove paint daily" or "the smell was so strong that I got dizzy", demonstrating substantial exposure to gasoline ongoing on a daily basis. Since benzene is a known human carcinogen, it would be expected that gasoline will be also a hematopoietic toxic and cancer causing agent as well. Indeed, Aksey et al as early as 1928 reported aplastic anemia, and in 1941, Machele et al reported thrombocytopenia from gasoline intoxication. Other hematopoietic malignancies have been reported as a result of gasoline exposure. Epidemiological studies of workers and filling station attendees have shown genotoxic effects at very low benzene from gasoline vapor exposure. Brandt et al have demonstrated genotoxic effects in workers exposed to low levels of benzene from gasoline. Santos-Mello et al have shown chromosomal deletions in lymphocytes of workers exposed to gasoline as attendants. Infante et al reported hematopoietic malignancy in petrol exposed workers. Similar exposures to gasoline in garage mechanics and filling stations have been reported. What are the health effects of exposure to gasoline vapors? Gas cans emit pollutants such as hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These pollutants can contribute to health problems that may affect homeowners, their families, and the community. VOC can produce ozone, which may cause respiratory problems for those with cardiac or respiratory diseases. Chemicals in these substances can also react in the air to form ground-level ozone (smog), which has been linked to a number of respiratory effects. EPA has developed a Web site related to ground-level ozone. Benzene: Exposure to benzene may cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract as well as blisters due to dermal exposure. Long-term exposure to benzene may cause blood disorders, reproductive and developmental disorders, and cancer. EPA has collected extensive information on the health effects of exposure to benzene. When gasoline vapors collect in a closed environment such as a non-ventilated shed or garage, the potential for an explosion increases. Benzene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is produced by the burning of natural products. It is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels. Benzene is used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals. Research has shown benzene to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing). With exposures from less than five years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed, and died from, leukemia. Long-term exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death.