Does anyone know anything about benzene? Is it used in jewelry
making chemicals? I just heard that it is EVIL and greatly
increases your risk of cancer.
Benzene is a volatile, flammable six carbon ring having alternating
double bonds. It can insert itself into the DNA helix by a process
known as intercolation. Being a good lipid solvent, it can be
absorbed through the skin and into living cells. Since it is
volatile, inhalation is also a route of exposure. It is associated to
an increased risk of leukemia.
There is small percentage of benzene in gasoline. (If memory serves
me, it may be as high as 5%...usually higher in winter than
summer...don't trust my memory any more.) Due to the volatile nature
of benzene, I would not expect to find it in compounds commonly used
in the jewelry studio.
Funny thing about those organic molecules...small changes in
composition can make big changes in toxicity. For instance, toluene
and xylene are also both components of gasoline. They are composed of
a benzene ring with one and two cabons, respectively added outside
the ring. They are both considered considerably less toxic (not
non-toxic). I keep a small quantity of toluene in my studio to use as
a solvent for glues, paints, etc. It is quite flammable.
The following link provides maximum levels in drinking water. It is
a good indication of relative toxicity between many of benzene
Also enjoying thoursands of crocus and awaiting the Forsythia blossoms in