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CAS Registry No.: 71-43-2
Other Names: Benzol, Phenyl hydride
Main Uses: Manufacture of other chemicals, laboratory solvent.
Appearance: Clear colourless liquid.
Canadian TDG: UN1114
B2 - Flammable Liquid; D2A - Very Toxic (Chronic toxicity; Carcinogenicity; Mutagenicity); D2B - Toxic (Skin irritant; Eye irritant)
Emergency Overview: Clear colourless liquid. Aromatic odour. HIGHLY FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. Can accumulate static charge. Can float on water and spread fire. IRRITANT. Causes moderate or severe eye and skin irritation. ASPIRATION hazard. May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways. VERY TOXIC. Prolonged or repeated exposure causes damage to blood, immune system. CANCER HAZARD. May cause cancer. MUTAGEN. May cause genetic defects.
Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation. Skin contact. Eye contact.
VERY TOXIC. Can harm the blood. Can cause a decrease in the number or size of red blood cells (anemia). Can cause a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, and harm the immune system. Blood tests may show abnormal results.
May harm the nervous system. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the limited studies available.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 1 - Carcinogenic to humans.
American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): A1 - Confirmed human carcinogen.
Inhalation: Take precautions to prevent a fire (e.g. remove sources of ignition). Take precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. wear appropriate protective equipment). Move victim to fresh air. Call a Poison Centre or doctor if the victim feels unwell.
Skin Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing if necessary. Quickly take off contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Immediately flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor. Double bag, seal, label and leave contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods at the scene for safe disposal.
Eye Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay flushing or attempt to remove the lens. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor.
Ingestion: Have victim rinse mouth with water. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Have victim rinse mouth with water again. Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor.
First Aid Comments: If exposed or concerned, see a doctor for medical advice. All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the chemical and its conditions of use in the workplace.
Note to Physicians: Some jurisdictions specifically regulate benzene and require a complete medical surveillance program. Specific information should be sought from the appropriate government agency in your jurisdiction.
Flammable Properties: FLAMMABLE LIQUID. Can ignite at room temperature. Releases vapour that can form explosive mixture with air. Can be ignited by static discharge.
Suitable Extinguishing Media: Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, appropriate foam, water spray or fog. Foam manufacturers should be consulted for recommendations regarding types of foams and application rates.
Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical: Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. Liquid can accumulate static charge by flow, splashing or agitation. Vapour may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Vapour may accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity hazard. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated releasing contents. In a fire, the following hazardous materials may be generated: very toxic carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide; toxic, flammable aldehydes; and other chemicals.
Personal Precautions: Evacuate the area immediately Keep unnecessary and unprotected personnel out of spill area.
Methods for Containment and Clean-up: Stop or reduce leak if safe to do so. Small spills or leaks: contain and soak up spill with absorbent that does not react with spilled product. Place used absorbent into suitable, covered, labelled containers for disposal. Flush spill area. Large spills or leaks: contact emergency services and manufacturer/supplier for advice.
Other Information: Report spills to local health, safety and environmental authorities, as required.
Handling: In event of a spill or leak, immediately put on escape-type respirator and exit the area. Eliminate heat and ignition sources such as sparks, open flames, hot surfaces and static discharge. Post "No Smoking" signs. Prevent accidental contact with incompatible chemicals. Avoid generating vapours or mists. Keep containers tightly closed when not in use or empty.
Storage: Store in an area that is: cool, well-ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition sources, separate from incompatible materials, an approved, fire-resistant area, clear of combustible and flammable materials (e.g. old rags, cardboard). Electrically bond and ground containers. Ground clips must contact bare metal. Avoid bulk storage indoors.
ACGIH® TLV® - TWA: 0.5 ppm Skin A1 BEI®
ACGIH® TLV® - STEL: 2.5 ppm
Exposure Guideline Comments: TLV® = Threshold Limit Value. TWA = Time-Weighted Average. A1 = Confirmed human carcinogen. BEI® = Biological Exposure Index. STEL = Short-term Exposure Limit.
NOTE: In many (but not all) Canadian jurisdictions, the exposure limits are similar to the ACGIH® TLVs®. Since legislation varies by jurisdiction, contact your local jurisdiction for exact details. A list is available in the OSH Answers on Canadian Governmental Occupational Health & Safety Departments.
A list of which acts and regulations that cover exposure limits to chemical and biological agents is available on our website. Please note that while you can see the list of legislation for free, you will need a subscription to view the actual documentation.
Engineering Controls: Use stringent control measures such as process enclosure to prevent product release into the workplace. Use backup controls (e.g. double mechanical pump seals) to prevent the release of this material due to equipment failure. Use non-sparking ventilation systems, approved explosion-proof equipment and intrinsically safe electrical systems in areas where this product is used and stored.
Eye/Face Protection: Wear chemical safety goggles and face shield when contact is possible.
Skin Protection: Wear chemical protective clothing e.g. gloves, aprons, boots. Suitable materials include: polyvinyl alcohol, Viton®, Barrier® - PE/PA/PE, Silver Shield® - PE/EVAL/PE, Tychem® BR/LV, Tychem® Responder® CSM, Tychem® TK.
At concentrations above the NIOSH REL, or where there is no REL, at any detectable concentration:
(APF = 10,000) Any self-contained breathing apparatus that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode; or Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode in combination with an auxiliary self-contained positive-pressure breathing apparatus.
The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) is 0.1 ppm (8-hour time-weighted average concentration) and 1 ppm (15-minute time-weighted average).
APF = Assigned Protection Factor; REL = Recommended Exposure Limit
Recommendations apply only to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators. Refer to the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for more information.
NOTE: NIOSH has classified this substance as a potential occupational carcinogen, according to specific NIOSH criteria. This classification is reflected in these recommendations for respiratory protection, which specify that only the most reliable and protective respirators be worn at any detectable concentration. NIOSH has changed their policy on respiratory protection for possible carcinogens but not yet revised these recommendations for respiratory protection. The requirements in Canadian jurisdictions may vary.
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