is a colorless liquid with a sweet odour. It evaporates into the
air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. It is highly flammable
and is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
Industries use benzene to make other chemicals which are used to
make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibres. Benzene is
also used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents,
drugs, and pesticides. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil,
gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
Inhalation of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart
rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating
or drinking foods containing benzene can cause vomiting, irritation
of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, rapid heart
rate, and death. Chronic exposure to benzene may cause a decrease
in red blood cells leading to anemia, harmful effects on the bone
marrow, excessive bleeding, and can affect the immune system, increasing
the chance for infection.
there are no regulations pertaining to benzene on construction projects.
Industrial processes involving benzene are regulated under the Ontario
Occupational Health & Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, Regulation 839
as amended by O.Reg. 105/04, Designated Substance – Benzene.
The transport of the waste to the disposal site is controlled by
the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.