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BENZENE

Score:

Data: Robust

  • Other Concerns
  • Functions
  • About the Chemical
  • Synonyms
  • Use restrictions (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (high), Multiple, additive exposure sources (low), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)

Cancer

Cancer concern is HIGH

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is MODERATE

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is LOW_MODERATE

Products with this Ingredient

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Cancer

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Concern Reference
Known human carcinogenCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Known human carcinogenAmer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens
Known human carcinogenEPA (US. Environmental Protection Agency). Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986 guidelines.
Known human carcinogenWorld Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC Monographs Programme on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Lists of Group 1, 2a, and 2b substances can be obtained. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/index.php; Vol 29, Suppl. 7 ;1987
Known human carcinogenNTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition
Possible human carcinogenCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Possible human carcinogenNTP - Tumor Induction in Mammary Gland
Cancer - strong evidenceProposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from http://wwwoehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html.
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityNIOSH Occupational Carcinogens
Possible mutagenCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
One or more human case studies show possible cancer findingsNTP - Tumor Induction in Mammary Gland
Cancer - limited evidenceSilent Spring's Mammary Carcinogens Reviews Database

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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Concern Reference
Classified as irritantCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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Concern Reference
Known human respiratory toxicantEPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at low dosesEPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, LaDou, J. (ed.). Occupational Medicine. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CN. 1990., Malachowsky, M.J. Health Effects of Toxic Substances. Government Institutes. Rockville, MD 1995., California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document 'Determination of Noncancer Chronic Reference Exposure Levels'. Includes all Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs) adopted by OEHHA as of August 2003 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/AllChrels.html, plus draft CRELS proposed through March 2004 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/index.html., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation., Stacey, N.H. Occupational Toxicology. Taylor & Francis. 1995.
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs
Classified as potentially toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
reproductive - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Use restrictions

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Concern Reference
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsEU Cosmetics Leg 1999
Violation of industry recommendations - Unsafe for use in cosmeticsIFRA_Standard_95html

Occupational hazards

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Concern Reference
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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Concern Reference
Possible human developmental toxicantCalifornia EPA Proposition 65
Human developmental toxicant - strong evidenceProposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from http://wwwoehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html.
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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Concern Reference
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Minimal risk Levels for Hazardous Substances. January 2004. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mrls.html, nternational Programme of Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria 180. Principles and Methods for Assessing Direct Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Chemicals. World Health Organization. Geneva, 1996. (Table 1: Examples of compounds that are immunotoxic for humans or rodents).

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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Concern Reference
Used in food or as an additive with limited or no toxicity information availableFDA Everything Added to Food
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status

Ecotoxicology

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Concern Reference
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEuropean Union - Water Framework Directive
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Miscellaneous

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Concern Reference
Occupational hazards related to handlingCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Data gaps

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Concern Reference
32754 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Neurotoxicity

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Concern Reference
nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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Concern Reference
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data Sources

  • CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
  • ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
  • EPA (US. Environmental Protection Agency). Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986 guidelines.
  • World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC Monographs Programme on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Lists of Group 1, 2a, and 2b substances can be obtained. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/index.php; Vol 29, Suppl. 7 ;1987
  • NTP (National Toxicology Program). 2005. Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
  • NTP (National Toxicology Program) 2006. Chemicals Associated with Site-Specific Tumor Induction in Mammary Gland.
  • Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from http://wwwoehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html.
  • NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 2006. NIOSH Carcinogens List (Potential occupational carcinogens). http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npotocca.html.
  • Rudel RA, KR Attfield, JN Schifano and JG Brody. Chemicals Causing Mammary Gland Tumors in Animals Signal New Directions for Epidemiology, Chemicals Testing, and Risk Assessment for Breast Cancer Prevention. CANCER Supplement. 2007 Jun 15;109(12):2635-2666.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, LaDou, J. (ed.). Occupational Medicine. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CN. 1990., Malachowsky, M.J. Health Effects of Toxic Substances. Government Institutes. Rockville, MD 1995., California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document 'Determination of Noncancer Chronic Reference Exposure Levels'. Includes all Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs) adopted by OEHHA as of August 2003 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/AllChrels.html, plus draft CRELS proposed through March 2004 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/index.html., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation., Stacey, N.H. Occupational Toxicology. Taylor & Francis. 1995.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • EU Cosmetics Leg 1999
  • IFRA_Standard_95html
  • California EPA (California Environmental Protection Agency). 9/2008. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Minimal risk Levels for Hazardous Substances. January 2004. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mrls.html, nternational Programme of Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria 180. Principles and Methods for Assessing Direct Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Chemicals. World Health Organization. Geneva, 1996. (Table 1: Examples of compounds that are immunotoxic for humans or rodents).
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
  • EU (European Union). 2000. Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC ) - integrated river basin management for Europe. List of priority substances.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

About this Ingredient's Score Range

  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.
  • EWG VERIFIED products meet use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data

ABOUT THE SKIN DEEP® RATINGS

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer

ABOUT EWG VERIFIED™

Beyond providing Skin Deep® as an educational tool for consumers, EWG offers its EWG VERIFIED™ mark as a quick and easily identifiable way of conveying personal care products that meet EWG's strict health criteria. Before a company can use EWG VERIFIED™ on such products, the company must show that it fully discloses the products' ingredients on their labels or packaging, they do not contain EWG ingredients of concern, and are made with good manufacturing practices, among other criteria. Note that EWG receives licensing fees from all EWG VERIFIED™ member companies that help to support the important work we do. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer