Health Indicator Report of Benzene in Outdoor Air
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.
NotesData Source: USEPA National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2014 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Bureau of Air Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
DefinitionMean of modeled annual average benzene concentration for census tracts in a county, using 2014 NATA data
NumeratorModeled 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, Hudson, Passaic, and Union.
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 ServicesTo view select air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States go to: [http://www.epa.gov/airdata/] New Jersey County Risk Ratio tables can be found at the following URL: [http://www.state.nj.us/dep/airmon/airtoxics/nataest.htm#rrtab]
Page Content Updated On 05/09/2019, Published on 05/09/2019