Benzene is a chemical that evaporates quickly under normal atmospheric conditions. The natural state of benzene is a colourless liquid and has a strong smell. Benzene can be found as a natural component of crude oil and in a more refined form in gasoline. OSHA recognises benzene as a toxic chemical and determined that exposure to benzene can cause cancer in humans. Benzene is still used in many petroleum-based products such as degreasers and rust removal products.
The Exxon Company promotes Rust-Ban as a rust prevention product, a petroleum-based product that contains benzene. Rust-Ban does not dry once applied to metal; it remains a liquid oil film. This means the benzene never evaporates into the air and remains present. Use caution while applying this product and handling materials where Rust-Ban has been applied. Avoid skin contact and wear protective goggles while using the product. Rust-Ban can soak into clothing, gain contact with the skin and cause irritation. To prevent skin contact, wear aprons during application or handling of materials coated with Rust-Ban.
Liquid Wrench is a lubricant, commonly used to loosen rusted bolts. OSHA Hazard Communication Standards lists Liquid Wrench as a hazardous product that can cause irritation to the user. It consists of a petroleum-based product that remains in a thick grease-like state that does not harden or evaporate. This allows the benzene in the product to remain active. According to the MSDS sheet provided by the company that produces Liquid Wrench, the product can cause eye and skin irritation upon contact.
Parks Furniture Refinisher
The Parks Corporation produces a product with benzene called Parks Furniture Refinisher. This product comes in a liquid form, which allows the benzene to evaporate out of the liquid and into the air. Breathing in fumes from benzene causes nasal and respiratory irritation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. Prolonged exposure to the product could result in eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and unconsciousness.
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