Properties and Uses
- A clear, colourless liquid; it has a distinctive aromatic odour.
- It is used as a petrochemical feedstock, particularly in the production of styrene.
- It is a component of and is produced from crude oil; it is found in gasoline.
- Emissions of Ethylbenzene from industry are primarily to air through process discharges and fugitive emissions from pumps, valves and seals.
- Vehicle exhausts are major contributors to airborne Ethylbenzene.
Short-term Health effects
- Low concentrations ? irritation of skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
- Higher concentrations ? headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, unconsciousness, possible death.
Ethylbenzene may be absorbed through the skin.
Long-term Health Effects
- Repeated inhalation of Ethylbenzene may cause lung irritation, disorders of the central nervous system and of the upper respiratory tract, blood and liver.
- Based on animal exposure studies, the International Agency for Cancer Research has classified Ethylbenzene as a possible carcinogen.