Phene; Benzene
(in 2 products)
Banned by Gov or classified as a carcinogen by IARC

Potential Risk Index®:

ISCE InhaleISCE SwallowISCE ContactISCE Environment
PRI Legend


1. Insecticide / Pesticide - Kills or inhibits unwanted organisms
Benzene belongs to a group of hydrocarbons (contain hydrogen and carbon atoms) and volatile organic compounds. It is used as a constituent in motor fuels; as a solvent for fats, waxes, resins, oils, inks, paints, plastics, and rubber; in the extraction of oils from seeds and nuts; and in photogravure printing. It is also used as a chemical intermediate. Benzene is also used in the manufacture of detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and dyestuffs. Benzene is used to make chemicals used in the manufacture of industrial products such as dyes, detergents, explosives, pesticides, synthetic rubber, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Benzene is found in gasoline and trace amounts are found in cigarette smoke. Benzene has been banned as an ingredient in products intended for use in the home, including toys. [1]
Benzene has a sweet, aromatic, gasoline-like odor. Most individuals can begin to smell benzene in the air at 1.5 to 4.7 ppm. The odor threshold generally provides an adequate warning for acutely hazardous exposure concentrations but is inadequate for more chronic exposures. [1]
Benzene is a clear, colorless, highly flammable, and volatile, liquid aromatic hydrocarbon with a gasoline-like odor. Benzene is found in crude oils and as a by-product of oil-refining processes. In industry, benzene is used as a solvent, as a chemical intermediate, and is used in the synthesis of numerous chemicals. Exposure to this substance causes neurological symptoms and affects the bone marrow causing aplastic anemia, excessive bleeding, and damage to the immune system. Benzene is a known human carcinogen and is linked to an increased risk of developing lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers, acute myelogenous leukemia, as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. [1]
This substance has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
This substance has been prohibited by the European Commission for use in cosmetic products.
Recent Findings:
According to Valisure, a chemicals testing company, benzene has been detected in a range of sunscreen products.
"“Benzene is one of the most studied and concerning human carcinogens known to science. Its association with forming blood cancers in humans has been shown in numerous studies at trace levels of parts per million and below. The presence of this known human carcinogen in products widely recommended for the prevention of skin cancer and that are regularly used by adults and children is very troubling,” said David Light, Founder and CEO of Valisure."
"“There is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in sunscreen products,” stated Dr. Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University. “Even benzene at 0.1 ppm in a sunscreen could expose people to excessively high nanogram amounts of benzene.”"
Scientific References:
Regulatory References:
1. WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Group 1 [2018]
- Benzene
- Ref: II/47
3. CANADA INGREDIENT HOTLIST, List of Ingredients that are Prohibited for Use in Cosmetic Products [2019]
- Benzene
4. South Korea - Ministry of Food and Drug Safety - Prohibited/Restricted Chemicals
- Ref: 476
5. US California Proposition 65, Chemicals known to the State to Cause Cancer
- Benzene
6. US California Proposition 65, Chemicals known to the State to Cause Developmental or Reproductive Toxicity in Males
- Benzene
7. US Environmental Protection Agency Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer
- Benzene
8. US National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on Carcinogens
- Benzene
9. US CARB Identified Toxic Air Contaminants
- Benzene (C6H6)

Safety and Hazards (UN GHS):

1. May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways (H304)
2. Causes skin irritation (H315)
3. Causes serious eye irritation (H319)
4. May cause genetic defects (H340)
5. May cause cancer (H350)
6. Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (H372)
7. Toxic to aquatic life (H401)
8. Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects (H411)

Potential Health Concerns For:

1. Abnormalities, Drug-Induced (PubMed ID:19812361)
2. Anemia (PubMed ID:2143647)
3. Anemia, Aplastic (PubMed ID:10462057)
4. Aneuploidy (PubMed ID:20418200)
5. Body Weight Changes (PubMed ID:27339418)
6. Bone Marrow Diseases (PubMed ID:16183116)
7. Breast Neoplasms (PubMed ID:10450771)
8. Carcinoma, Squamous Cell (PubMed ID:12748714)
9. Cell Transformation, Neoplastic (PubMed ID:31154059)
10. Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury (PubMed ID:20338863)
11. Chromosome Aberrations (PubMed ID:1282215)
12. Craniofacial Abnormalities (PubMed ID:15643154)
13. Death (PubMed ID:26298834)
14. Dermatitis (PubMed ID:15902427)
15. Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials (PubMed ID:19014991)
16. Glucose Intolerance (PubMed ID:30346588)
17. Granulosa Cell Tumor (PubMed ID:12748714)
18. Hematologic Diseases (PubMed ID:16183116)
19. Hematologic Neoplasms (PubMed ID:20400480)
20. Hepatitis (PubMed ID:2676498)
21. Hodgkin Disease (PubMed ID:24552493)
22. Hyperbilirubinemia (PubMed ID:2676498)
23. Hyperplasia (PubMed ID:12748714)
24. Hypertension (PubMed ID:17940673)
25. Insulin Resistance (PubMed ID:30346588)
26. Leukemia (PubMed ID:14694614)
27. Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive (PubMed ID:15781211)
28. Leukemia, Myeloid (PubMed ID:17506065)
29. Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute (PubMed ID:15781211)
30. Leukopenia (PubMed ID:12748714)
31. Listeriosis (PubMed ID:3422522)
32. Liver Neoplasms (PubMed ID:20400480)
33. Liver Neoplasms, Experimental (PubMed ID:12562636)
34. Lung Diseases, Interstitial (PubMed ID:14698565)
35. Lung Neoplasms (PubMed ID:12562636)
36. Lymphoma (PubMed ID:12748714)
37. Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin (PubMed ID:19900422)
38. Lymphopenia (PubMed ID:12748714)
39. Mammary Neoplasms, Animal (PubMed ID:12562636)
40. Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental (PubMed ID:11921183)
41. Metaplasia (PubMed ID:2507309)
42. Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective (PubMed ID:12438016)
43. Monosomy (PubMed ID:21216845)
44. Multiple Myeloma (PubMed ID:17119195)
45. Myelodysplastic Syndromes (PubMed ID:15781211)
46. Necrosis (PubMed ID:20338863)
47. Neoplasms (PubMed ID:17938725)
48. Neoplasms, Experimental (PubMed ID:20400480)
49. Neural Tube Defects (PubMed ID:15643154)
50. Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive (PubMed ID:26505805)
51. Neurologic Manifestations (PubMed ID:2676498)
52. Occupational Diseases (PubMed ID:10450771)
53. Ovarian Neoplasms (PubMed ID:12562636)
54. Pancytopenia (PubMed ID:20381478)
55. Papilloma (PubMed ID:12748714)
56. Poisoning (PubMed ID:10511253)
57. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PubMed ID:12719865)
58. Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma (PubMed ID:22892901)
59. Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects (PubMed ID:19672414)
60. Scleroderma, Diffuse (PubMed ID:12719865)
61. Spinal Dysraphism (PubMed ID:20923742)
62. Splenic Diseases (PubMed ID:3705090)
63. Stomach Neoplasms (PubMed ID:12562636)
64. Tachycardia, Ventricular (PubMed ID:10756546)
65. Thrombocytopenia (PubMed ID:2676498)
66. Thymus Neoplasms (PubMed ID:10850423)
67. Trisomy (PubMed ID:21216845)
68. Uterine Cervical Dysplasia (PubMed ID:24924773)
69. Uterine Neoplasms (PubMed ID:12562636)

User Comments:

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