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Air Pollution

airquali-graf-1.jpg Air pollution is a broad term applied to any agent (chemical, physical, biological or other) that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere and has an effect in man or the environment. Worldwide air pollution is influencing the quality of life, while in addition is accounted responsible for deaths and various respiratory diseases. Setting of air pollution levels, to regulate air quality, as is the case of related EU regulations, has contributed to levering the negative impacts of air pollution by improving air quality.

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General Information


Benzene is a colourless, volatile and flammable liquid with a distinctive odour. It evaporates into the air very quickly and presents a dangerous fire hazard when exposed to heat or flame. It is only slightly soluble in water, but will mix with most organic solvents. Benzene is one of the simplest organic chemicals known as 'aromatic' compounds - with their carbon atoms arranged in rings rather than chains.


Origin and Use


Benzene is primarily used as a reagent in the production of a wide variety of chemical substances, such as: dyes, detergents, coatings, plastics, fibres, pesticides, adhesives and coatings, lubricating oil additives, dry cleaning, paint and production of some types of rubber. Benzene is also found in crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke. Benzene is categorised and regulated as a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound). At ground level, VOCs react with other air pollutants and contribute to the formation of potentially harmful concentrations of ozone in the lower atmosphere.


Major emissions


Benzene is released to the environment as a result of vehicle emissions, evaporation of petrol during vehicle fuelling and from fuel tanks, emissions from its production and use as a chemical reagent/intermediate and from other fossil fuel combustion.


Source: European Pollutant Emission Register, hosted by the European Environment Agency (EEA). http://eper.cec.eu.int