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Benzene in Outdoor Air

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Benzene in Outdoor Air by County, New Jersey, 2019

Why Is This Important?

People are exposed to benzene from tobacco smoking, automobile service stations, exhaust from motor vehicles, and industrial emissions. People living in cities or industrial areas are exposed to higher levels of benzene in air than those living in rural areas. Breathing high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Long-term exposure causes harmful effects on the bone marrow, can lead to anemia, and can affect the immune system. Benzene is a known human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia.


Mean of modeled annual average benzene concentration for census tracts in a county

Data Sources

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Modeled mean benzene concentration in micrograms per cubic meter

How Are We Doing?

All New Jersey counties exceed the health benchmark of 0.13 micrograms of benzene per cubic meter of air. The highest ambient air concentrations can be found in the northeast counties of Bergen, Essex, and Hudson.

What Is Being Done?

The benzene content of gasoline is regulated, and the use of benzene in consumer products is being phased out. Benzene in drinking water is routinely monitored in all community water systems. The USEPA's Mobile Source Air Toxics 2 rule sets new requirements related to benzene: more stringent hydrocarbon emissions from passenger vehicles; controls on portable fuel containers; and restrictions on benzene content in gasoline products.

Available Services

To view select air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States go to: [] New Jersey County Risk Ratio tables can be found at the following URL: []

More Resources

The USEPA Integrated Risk Information System provides more detailed information about benzene and research studies on its health effects at the following URL: [] New Jersey Statewide Average 2005 NATA Modeled Air Concentrations and comparisons to health benchmarks can be found at: [] Pollution Prevention and Community Right to Know: [] NJDEP "What's in My Community?" mapping application: [] On the map you will find every facility with an air permit registered with the Division of Air Quality at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 05/09/2023, Published on 02/07/2024
Environmental Public Health Tracking Project, New Jersey Department of Health, PO Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369, e-mail: (