It may be surprising to find out that one of the top 20 chemicals used in the United States is known to cause cancer. This chemical is benzene. Benzene is used in gasoline and benzene exposure has been shown to cause a number of blood-related cancers, including:
- acute myeloid leukemia (AML);
- acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL);
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL);
- multiple myeloma; and
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
There is some good news though. Scientists at Northwestern University reportedly have discovered a way to remove benzene from gasoline and help reduce benzene exposure. This research is being spearheaded by Northwestern’s Tobin J. Marks and his team made up of scientists from Universal Oil Products and Argonne National Laboratory.
A mixture of aromatics that works to improve fuel efficiency includes benzene in gasoline. Though this sounds like a great use, the dangers posed by benzene exposure completely outweighs the benefit. And, it turns out that it is not actually necessary to have benzene in gasoline. To help reduce the risks posed, Marks’ team has developed a catalyst that removes the benzene from the mixture leaving a gasoline that is cleaner and more efficient.
Benzene Exposure Not Necessary
Benzene in gasoline can be removed through the use of a simple and affordable metal rather than platinum, keeping the cost of gasoline down. This research has shown that this cancer-causing chemical does not have to be used and will hopefully be eliminated to keep everyone safer.