Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

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.

Benzene Concentrations in Outdoor Air, by New Jersey County, 2017 NATA


Data Source: USEPA National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2017 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality

Data Sources

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Bureau of Air Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection


Mean of modeled annual average benzene concentration for census tracts in a county, using 2017 NATA data


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: []
Page Content Updated On 03/17/2022, Published on 03/22/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Thu, 23 May 2024 1:54:23 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: no date