Benzene is a natural constituent of crude oil, it is colorless and smells like regular commercial Gasoline. It is an important component of gasoline due to it’s high octane number.
Exposed to Benzene even in small concentrations, can be carcinogenic, this means it may increase the risk of cancer and also other serious diseases.
Use proper personal protective equipment when dealing with Crude oils, Diesel fuels and other chemicals containing Benzene.
BSS (Black Sticky Stuff) traps Benzene, Benzene is then released over time from all equipment contaminated with the BSS.
Some background infromation and histiory from Wikipedia.
In the 19th and early-20th centuries, benzene was used as an after-shave lotion because of its pleasant smell. Prior to the 1920s, benzene was frequently used as an industrial solvent, especially for degreasing metal. As its toxicity became obvious, benzene was supplanted by other solvents, especially toluene (methyl benzene), which has similar physical properties but is not as carcinogenic.
In 1903, Ludwig Roselius popularized the use of benzene to decaffeinate coffee. This discovery led to the production of Sanka. This process was later discontinued. Benzene was historically used as a significant component in many consumer products such as Liquid Wrench, several paint strippers, rubber cements, spot removers and other hydrocarbon-containing products. Some ceased manufacture of their benzene-containing formulations in 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.
Also called Cyclohexatriene benzol phene.