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Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:32 pm
by Wilberforce
Benzene is present in wood smoke in proportionately significant quantities, in as much so that we
cannot ignore its disadvantageously significant health effect upon humans to any degree. In short,
benzene causes cancer!

More on benzene:
In 1903, Ludwig Roselius popularized the use of benzene to decaffeinate coffee. This discovery led to the
production of Sanka (the letters "ka" in the brand name stand for kaffein). This process was later discontinued.
Benzene was historically found as a significant component in many consumer products such as Liquid Wrench,
Testors model cement, several paint strippers, rubber cements, spot removers and other hydrocarbon-
containing products. Some, like Testors, ceased manufacture of its benzene formula about 1950 while others
continued to use benzene as a component or significant contaminant until the late 1970s when leukemia
deaths were found associated with Goodyear's Pliofilm production operations in Ohio. Until the late 1970s,
many hardware stores, paint stores, and other retail outlets sold benzene in small cans, such as quart size,
for general-purpose use. Many students were exposed to benzene in school and university courses while
performing laboratory experiments with little or no ventilation in many cases. This very dangerous practice
has been almost totally eliminated.
"Another source of exposure to benzene for the general population is the use of domestic wood stoves.
It has been estimated that approximately 10% of the space heating in urban areas of the northern United
States is from wood burning, with up to 50% in smaller, rural towns (Larson and Koenig 1994). Benzene
has been found to be a major component of the emissions from wood burning, especially from efficient
flame combustion,
and constituted roughly 10–20% by weight of total non-methane hydrocarbons
(Barrefors and Petersson 1995)..."

Benzene (EPA web page)
Cancer Risk:
Increased incidence of leukemia (cancer of the tissues that form white blood cells) has been observed in
humans occupationally exposed to benzene. (1,4)
EPA has classified benzene as a Group A, known human carcinogen.

Re: Benzene causes cancer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:04 pm
by Wilberforce
More on Benzene

Wood smoke is rich in benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, as well as PM.
There have been several lawsuits concerning benzene in consumer products.

There is a video here on product liability:
Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP

Re: Benzene causes cancer

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:32 pm
by Wilberforce
Benzene - Leukemia link is stronger than previously thought

Benzene Exposure Near the US Permissible Limit Is Associated With Sperm Aneuploidy

Benzene emitted from glowing charcoal

Re: Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:43 pm
by Wilberforce
Air emissions of benzene may cause birth defects. ... h-defects/

Maternal Exposure to Ambient Levels of Benzene

Re: Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:06 pm
by OxygenQueen
This is awful, awful stuff to hear. While it's upsetting that we're polluting out air with awful toxic waste, but we're causing detrimental harm to ourselves. It's really no wonder cancer is so rampant on our planet -- along with other awful, awful conditions.

Thanks for sharing these Wikipedia articles. I'll be sure to share them with others!

Re: Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:10 am
by gilberthsmith
Benzene is an organic chemical compound with the molecular formula C6H6. It is sometimes abbreviated Ph–H. Benzene is a colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet smell. Because it is a known carcinogen, its use as an additive in gasoline is now limited, but it is an important industrial solvent and precursor in the production of drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber, and dyes. Benzene is a natural constituent of crude oil, and may be synthesized from other compounds present in petroleum.

Residential wood burning a major cause of harmful pollution

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:10 pm
by Wilberforce
Residential wood burning – a major cause of harmful pollution ... f/4si4.pdf

"The main sources of the pollutants were found to be from wood burning and traffic emissions, but wood smoke was
the biggest contributor of many organic compounds, including benzene, ethene and ethyne, all of which are known
to be harmful to human health. Up to 70 per cent of benzene detected in the air was from wood smoke.
When weather conditions, such as the wind speed and direction, were favourable, brief surges in the concentration
of some organic pollutants were detected. Fluctuation of levels of benzene in the air also occurred in the same daily pattern as the levels of wood use."


Influence of residential wood combustion on local air quality.
Hellén H, Hakola H, Haaparanta S, Pietarila H, Kauhaniemi M.
Source Finnish Meteorological Institute, Air Quality, Helsinki, Finland.
Sci Total Environ. 2008 Apr 15;393(2-3):283-90. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

The importance of wood combustion to local air quality was estimated by measuring different air pollutants and conducting chemical mass balance modelling. PM10, PM2.5, PAHs and VOC concentrations in ambient air were measured in a typical Finnish residential area. Measurements were conducted in January-March 2006. For some compounds, wood combustion was clearly the main local source at this site. The effect of wood combustion was more clearly seen for organic compounds than for fine particle mass. For fine particles, background concentrations dominated. However, very high, short-lived concentration peaks were detected, when the wind direction and other weather conditions were favourable. For organic compounds, the effect of wood combustion was seen in diurnal and in two-week average concentrations. PAH-concentrations were often several times higher at the residential area than in the background. Benzene concentrations showed similar diurnal pattern as the use of wood and benzene/toluene ratios indicated that wood combustion is the most important source. A chemical mass balance model was used for studying the effect of wood combustion on the measured concentrations of VOCs. Model results showed that the main local sources for VOCs at Kurkimäki are wood combustion and traffic. Wood combustion was clearly the most important source for many compounds (e.g., benzene).

Re: Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:41 pm
by pukemina
Does a conceiving woman with Leukemia have to stay in the hospital forever? I'm writing a story about this. So please tell me what pregnant leukemia patients do to keep the baby and herself safe. Tell me about the medications too.

Re: Benzene in Wood Smoke

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:33 pm
by Wilberforce
Air pollution in Europe 1990–2004 (PDF file)
"Domestic burning for heating is responsible for 3– 7 % of benzene emissions in Europe.
However, there are clear geographic patterns, e.g. higher emissions in Nordic countries
where wood burning in the domestic sector is common. In Sweden the domestic contribution
reaches over 50 %."