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Benzene - Essay Example

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It has a chemical formula of C6H6 and its structure is a hexagon from the six carbon atoms with double bonds on every other carbon atom. Most aromatic compounds are synthesized with benzene as one of its…
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Download file to see previous pages At room temperature, it is liquid and is a bit viscous. Its density is 0.879 g/mL and turns to vapor at 80.1ºC. It is a flammable aromatic hydrocarbon and is not completely miscible with water, but can dissolve in other solvents like acetone, chlorofom or carbon tetrachloride (EPA, 1988). Because of its high flammability and volatility, the chemical must be kept away from sparks, open flame, heat or other hot surfaces that may cause fire or explosion (, 2014).
Benzene is a common part of industrial manufacturing of plastics, man-made fibers, rubber lubricants, colorants and pesticides. It is also a component in gasoline and other petroleum products. In nature, volcanoes and forest fires emit benzene into the atmosphere. Residential uses of benzene are found in adhesives, paint removers and gasoline. Petroleum products are the major contributors of benzene in the environment (, 2013).
Other aromatic chemicals such as phenol and toluene, are also synthesized from benzene either by replacing the hydrogen atoms in the molecule or by cleavage of the bonds in the benzene molecule. Most chemicals from benzene are products of substitution reactions (, 1988).
Humans are exposed to benzene in different ways, namely through inhalation, ingestion or by skin contact. The most common route of benzene exposure is by inhalation, especially when humans are exposed to petroleum products or benzene-containing paints and resins. When benzene is released in its vapor form from manufacturing industries, the people living near the area are exposed and inhale it. The symptoms that may be experienced when exposed to benzene for short periods are headaches or nausea. However, for longer periods high risk of having cancer and anemia are some of the health effects. Some studies in animals have shown that prolonged exposure to benzene vapors caused infertility and damaged reproductive organs. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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