The Dangers and Sources of Benzene

grilling food

Benzene is an organic chemical compound that is classed as a hydrocarbon. As a natural constituent of crude oil it is one of the elementary petrochemicals and as an important component of gasoline, due to it’s high octane number. Benzene is colorless and highly flammable as a liquid, with a sweet smell. It is used as a precursor to the manufacture of chemicals with more complex structures, like rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, explosives and pesticides. It is a precursor to styrene, an ingredient in polymers and plastics. Toluene is used as a substitute for benzene, as a fuel additive.

Benzene is a human carcinogen, which increases the risk of cancer and other illnesses, especially bone marrow failure, aplastic anemia, and many forms of acute leukemia that are caused by benzene in the air from auto emissions. Benzene goes directly to bone marrow where T-cells are made, and to the thymus where T-cells are programmed. These are two huge blows to the immune system. When benzene is added to propyl alcohol, mycotoxins and other heavy hitting chemical pollutant exposures, the total combined load is too much for the liver and it begins to accumulate in the thymus.

Benzene also targets the liver, kidney, lung, heart and brain, and can cause DNA strand breaks, chromosomal damage, irregular periods and decreased ovary size in women. Benzene exposure is directly linked to neural birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly. Men who are exposed to benzene are more likely to have an abnormal amount of chromosomes in their sperm, which impacts fertility and fetal development.

Most non-industrial applications are limited, however, it is also produced by volcanic eruptions, wild fires, tobacco smoke, industrial emissions, as well as ingestion and dermal absorption from contaminated water. Commercially bottled water, fruit juice and beer contain traces of benzene, but you can create it yourself and consume it without being aware.

When you grill food, especially with direct flame, very toxic benzopyrene's develop in the food and are consumed. Cooking at very high temperatures (425º), like microwaves, deep frying and ovens. It doesn’t matter what fuel is used, electric or gas. Do not burn your food. I think of children consuming burned marshmallows on the end of a stick. If it turns dark brown or black, throw it out.

Other sources of benzene include flavored food, yogurt, gelatin, candies, throat lozenges, store bought cookies, cakes, smoked foods, cooking oil, shortening, toothpaste, cold cereals, ice cream, frozen yogurt, chewing gum, vitamins, cattle and poultry feeds, flavored pet foods, bird food that is made into cakes. Personal care products that contain benzene include hand cream, skin cream, moisturizers, vaseline products, chap stick, hand cleaners, personal lubricant and tea tree oil products. The skin is the largest organ and absorbs what you put on it, as if injected.

Consuming benzopyrene lowers immunity dramatically and facilitates a growth spurt for parasites and pathogens. It would be wise to educate children about the dangers of food toxins so they develop habits that maximize their immune strength. Benzopyrene's must be detoxified by the liver. With so many sources of benzene, the detoxification ability of the liver is constantly challenged.

If you want vibrant health, it is important to be aware of every possible threat to your immune strength and take precautions to avoid those things as much as possible.

If you have questions, email johnna@wholefamilyhealthandnutrition.com to schedule your free introductory consultation. I look forward to serving you. JVW