Benzene Awareness

Target Audience
Expected Duration
Lesson Objectives
Course Number
Expertise Level


Benzene is a volatile chemical formed from both natural processes and human activities. Natural sources of benzene include emissions from volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

Benzene is widely used in the United States, ranking in the top 20 chemicals for production volume. It is primarily used as a solvent, a starting material for the production of other chemicals, and a gasoline additive. Breathing benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and unconsciousness; long-term benzene exposure affects the bone marrow and can cause anemia and leukemia.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes benzene as a hazardous material and imposes strict exposure limits in the workplace. This course presents an overview of benzene and its health risks, and provides information on the occupational requirements and methods to protect against exposure to benzene.

The course was developed and reviewed with subject matter support provided by certified subject matter experts and industry professionals. Please note, the course materials and content were current with the laws and regulations at the time of the last expert review, however, they may not reflect the most current legal developments. Nothing herein, or in the course materials, shall be construed as professional advice as to any particular situation with respect to compliance with legal statutes or requirements.

Target Audience
All employees, supervisors, and managers whose normal activities could result in occupational benzene exposure


Expected Duration (hours)

Lesson Objectives

Benzene Awareness

  • Benzene Awareness
  • identify the characteristics of benzene
  • identify the uses of benzene
  • Knowledge Check: About Benzene
  • recognize how benzene exposure occurs
  • Knowledge Check: Benzene Exposure Risks
  • identify examples of the health effects of benzene exposure
  • Knowledge Check: Health Effects of Benzene Exposure
  • identify methods used to communicate benzene hazards to employees
  • Knowledge Check: Communicating the Hazard
  • identify the hazard protection measures for benzene in a given workplace situation
  • Knowledge Check: Hazard Protection Measures
  • recognize the exposure limits for employees working with benzene
  • Knowledge Check: Exposure Limits of Benzene
  • identify the monitoring regulations for benzene exposure
  • identify medical surveillance regulations for benzene exposure
  • Knowledge Check: Monitoring Benzene Regulations
  • identify regulations ensuring benzene exposure remains at permissible levels
  • Knowledge Check: Compliance Controls
  • Course Number:

    Expertise Level