Benzene

SCA endorses products with the Toxic-Free Tick, that do not contain benzene. “The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that benzene is a known carcinogen (can cause cancer). Both the International Agency for Cancer Research and the EPA have determined that benzene is carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to benzene may be harmful to the reproductive organs.” - ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry

CLASSIFICATION

CAS No: 71-43-2, CAS No: 98-23-7 & CAS No: 9017-27-0. "Chemicals starting with benzene or phenyl, or containing synthetic man made fragrances. Synonym(s): (6) ANNULENE; BENZEEN (DUTCH) ; BENZEN (POLISH) ; BENZENE (ACGIH:OSHA) ; BENZIN (OBS.) ; BENZINE (OBS.) ; BENZOL (OSHA) ; BENZOLE; BENZOLENE; BENZOLO (ITALIAN) ; BICARBURET OF HYDROGEN" - EWG

HOW IS IT USED?

Benzene is hidden in the term 'Fragrance or Perfum' on the ingredient label and used in almost every product from skin care to baby care, cleaning agents, laundry, makeup and more. Benzene is a component of man made fragrances; derived form coal tar, it is a known human carcinogen - it can cause cancer.

RESEARCH - WHAT EXPERTS SAY

WHAT IS BENZENE?

  • Benzene is a synthetic component commonly found in 'fragrances'. "Benzene is an important starting material for many perfume ingredients. One of the most important perfume ingredients derived from benzene is 2-phenlyethanol. Phenylethanol is a major component of rose oils and is widely used in perfumery for its blending qualities." - CHM.

  • Benzene is used as an adhesive, solvent and thinner component. It is a synthetic man-made chemical used as a solvent in plastics; found in gasoline, jet fuel and dry cleaning products.

  • According to the the World Health Organization "Human exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer "

  • Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other regulatory organisations around the world; "benzene is a known human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor."

  • NICNAS warns; “If a safer chemical or process can be substituted for one which involves benzene, then this should be done; Avoid skin contact by wearing benzene-resistant gloves and other personal protective equipment.”

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. “Many fragrances are toxic. Some of these fragrances may be phthalates, which can act as obesogens (cause obesity) and may otherwise disrupt normal endocrine function, including reproductive health. Phthalates may cause developmental defects and delays.” – Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert.

Amina Kitching