Technical guidance on Benzene



Technical guidance on Benzene

may 2018 - Relevant for: Hardlines, Softlines, Toys & children's products INDUSTRY

What is it?
Benzene is a volatile organic compound made of carbon and hydrogen. It is a colourless liquid with sweet odour at room temperature and pressure. Benzene exists naturally in crude petroleum and can be extracted from oil distillation. This substance is widely used in chemical industry and it can be a starting material for chemical production e.g. lubricants, dyes, pesticides, etc. It can also be used solvents in rubber adhesive.

Potential hazards:
Benzene is carcinogenic to human. Short term contact of benzene can lead to dizziness and headaches while long term exposure can cause anemia.

Commonly found in:
As benzene is commonly used as a solvent, it can be found in various mixtures e.g. ink, paints, rubber adhesives. There were EU RAPEX cases which recalled felt-tip pens containing benzene. This substance may also be found in other materials e.g. EVA foam, latex.

Related legislation (non-exhaustive)

  • European Union
    • REACH Annex XVII entry 5
  • USA
    • Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)

Maximum limits:

  • European Union
    • REACH Annex XVII entry 5
      • Substance: Not used
      • Mixtures: 0.1% by weight
      • Toys and its parts: 5 mg/kg 
  • USA
    • FHSA
      • Liquid components and liquid-filled items designed or intended to be used by individuals containing benzene above 5% of require special labeling

How can TÜV SÜD help?
TÜV SÜD has a dedicated technical solutions team to support you with root cause analysis, problem identification, suggestions for improvement and failure minimisation.

  • Training and seminar on understanding the RSL (Restricted Substance List) and MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List)
  • Testing services on raw materials and final products
  • Being part of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme, we review the entire value chain of footwear and textiles



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