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Effects on Health

"Environmental benzene exposure is an important health concern. It has been clearly established that human exposure to benzene leads not only to hematologic cancers but also to a wide range of adverse noncancerous effects including functional aberration of respiratory, nervous, immune, hematological, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems."

"Living near gasoline fueling stations or hazardous waste sites may increase exposure to benzene. People are advised not to have their families play near fueling stations, manufacturing plants, or hazardous waste sites."

"Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and lab animals. The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and other cancers of blood cells."

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"Of particular concern are children who, for example, live nearby, play nearby, or attend nearby schools, because children are more vulnerable to hydrocarbon exposure."

"The scientists found that children living in proximity to gas stations and commercial garages were four times more likely to have developed leukemia. They were almost eight times as likely to have developed one specific form of the cancer, acute non-lymphocytic leukemia."

"A second study looked at outdoor and indoor concentrations of benzene of houses located 98 and up to 328 feet from the property line of gas stations. Those researchers found median outdoor benzene concentrations of 3.1 ppb and 1.9 ppb in houses within 60 to 164 feet and between 196 and 328 feet of gas stations. Troublingly, median indoor concentrations at these homes were higher, hitting 4.1 and 5.2 ppb."

"A study led by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the release of vapors from gas station vent pipes, finding emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations used to determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be situated to the facilities."

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Higher ozone levels can lead to respiratory problems and asthma, while benzene is a known cancer-causing chemical, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Good IAQ is an important component of a healthy indoor environment, and can help schools reach their primary goal of educating children."

Early exposure to alcohol and tobacco marketing, such as marketing in a convenience store, is associated with a 50% increase in the odds of ever smoking.

"The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs."

 "In contrast, benzene exposure was positively and approximately linearly associated with risk of childhood leukemia, particularly for acute myeloid leukemia, among children under 6 y of age, and when exposure assessment at the time of diagnosis was used."

Residential Proximity to Gasoline Stations and Risk of Childhood Leukemia

Association between Outdoor Air Pollution and Childhood Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Dose–Response Meta-Analysis

Acute childhood leukaemia and residence next to petrol stations and automotive repair garages: the ESCALE study (SFCE)

 "Benzene can pass into air from water and soil surfaces. Once in the air, benzene reacts with other chemicals and breaks down within a few days. Benzene in the air can also be deposited on the ground by rain or snow."

"Increased levels of benzene can be found at fueling stations, and in air emissions from manufacturing plants and hazardous waste sites. Living near gasoline fueling stations or hazardous waste sites may increase exposure to benzene. People are advised not to have their families play near fueling stations, manufacturing plants, or hazardous waste sites."

 "A new study suggests that drops of fuel spilled at gas stations -- which occur frequently with fill-ups -- could cumulatively be causing long-term environmental damage to soil and groundwater in residential areas in close proximity to the stations."