Views on Benzene air quality standard sought

BSI review of proposed standard for the measurement of benzene in ambient air quality draws to a close on Monday (November 18)

The British Standards Institute (BSI) is inviting feedback on a draft standard outlining the methodology for the measurement of benzene concentrations in ambient air quality.

EN 14662-3 was put out for review by the BSI in August — with the consultation period due to close on Monday (November 18).

Chemical composition of Benzene

Chemical composition of Benzene

The standard specifies a semi-continuous measurement method for the determination of the concentration of benzene present in ambient air based on automated sampling and analysis by gas chromatography.

It also describes the performance characteristics and sets the relevant minimum criteria required to select an appropriate automated gas chromatograph (GC) by means of type approval tests.

The method is applicable to the determination of the mass con­centration of benzene present in ambient air in the range up to 50 µg/m3 benzene. This concentration range represents the certification range for the type approval test.


The method covers the determination of ambient air concentrations of benzene in zones classified as rural areas, urban-background areas and traffic-orientated locations and locations influenced by industrial sources.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to benzene can have a range of acute and long term health defects, including cancer and aplastic anaemia. It can also be a moderate eye and skin irritant.

Sources of benzene include petroleum products such as motor fuels and solvents, as well as tobacco smoke.

Benzene has also been detected at high levels in indoor air- with causes thought to be building materials such as paints and adhesives as well as cigarette smoke. Homes with attached garages and those situated close to petrol filling stations have also been hound to contain higher levels of benzene.

Related Links

BSI – Draft Benzene Standard


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