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What is benzene?

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Benzene is an organic compound that is a colorless or light yellow liquid. This chemical is highly inflammable and evaporates into the air very quickly. Benzene is extracted through refinery processes from crude oil or is obtained as a by-product in steam crackers and refineries. This aromatic hydrocarbon is mainly used by petrochemical industries. Some of the chemicals which are manufactured using benzene are ethylbenzene, cyclohexane, cumene, nitrobenzene, maleic anhydride, and alkylbenzene. Ethylbenzene, which is one of the major benzene derivatives, is used for the production of styrene which is used in foam & films and paint & coatings.

Benzene is used as a raw material in a wide range of end products such as plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. It is also used in manufacturing some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Industries such as building and construction, textile, electrical, electronics, agriculture, polymer, and automotive use benzene on a large level.

When exposed to extreme temperatures and pressures benzene is a toxic and hazardous chemical. High levels of human exposure to benzene may lead to various illnesses like drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, unconsciousness or even death at very high levels.

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