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Q: Is the chemical benzene in any way related to these 3 chemical compounds? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Is the chemical benzene in any way related to these 3 chemical compounds?
Category: Science > Chemistry
Asked by: questions0729-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 18 May 2005 16:09 PDT
Expires: 17 Jun 2005 16:09 PDT
Question ID: 523106
From 1988 to the present, a certain company according to their air
releases found on releases 3 major chemicals into
the air: Glycol Ethers, N-Butyl Alcohol, and Hydrofluoric Acid. Glycol
Ethers being the largest is simply defined on this site as "certain
Glycol Ethers" so I would assume there is more then one and this is
simply a catch all category.

Is the chemical Benzene (which in certain doses leads to Acute
Myelogenous Leukemia) in any way/shape/form related to any of the
above three mentioned chemicals? If so please provide links to this
information and/or cite resources I can obtain on or off the Internet.

I never did well in Chemistry back in college so I'm not sure if these
chemicals are related. I did find alot of sites which might prove
helpful in finding an answer. (unsure if this is the
same as regular straight benzene)

Subject: Re: Is the chemical benzene in any way related to these 3 chemical compounds?
Answered By: andrewxmp-ga on 18 May 2005 17:21 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

About each of these three chemicals

1) Glycol Ethers
This is a large class of chemicals that are related due to certain
elements in their molecular structure that are common to all of them. 
You said you did poorly in chemistry, so I will skip the details, but
an ?ether? is defined a having an oxygen separating two or more alkyl
groups.  ?Glycol? refers to another class of chemicals with similar
molecular structures.  It is a, ?dihydric alcohol in which the two
hydroxyl groups are bonded to different carbon atoms; the general
formula for a glycol is (CH2)n(OH)2?
[ ]
Glycol ethers contain both of these structural elements.  An example
of one such glycol ether is Diethyleneglycol Methyl Ether.
Diagram of molecular structure:
Description: [

In any case, these chemicals can be fairly dangerous, especially with
prolonged exposure, or exposure to high levels.  The problems it can
cause, as well as a thorough description of where it is used in
industry (usually as a solvent), can be found at:

2) N-Butyl Alcohol
This is a specific chemical that, although also used as a solvent, has
a variety of other industrial uses.  It is in the chemical family of
alcohols, and has the formula C4-H10-O.  A diagram of the molecular
structure can be found at:
[  ]
(note that the formula given under this diagram is incorrect; you can
clearly count 10, not 9, hydrogen atoms]

Although this list covers the entire realm of possible problems
related to exposure, N-Butyl Alcohol can:
?cause death from respiratory failure and cardiac failure. Exposure
can occur through inhalation, absorption through the skin, ingestion,
and contact with eyes or skin. It also can cause gastrointestinal
hemorrhage, renal damage, liver damage, pulmonary edema, headache,
muscle weakness, giddiness, ataxia, confusion, delirium, coma, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, cough, dyspnea, irritation of mucous membranes,
dermatitis, dizziness, drowsiness, corneal inflammation, blurred
vision, and irritation of the skin, eyes, and throat from vapor or
[ ]

3) Hydrofluoric Acid
This is a far simpler molecule than the other two, simply a hydrogen
atom bonded to a fluorine atom.  It is however, extremely dangerous
because it is a powerful acid.

?DERMAL EXPOSURE - HF is an inorganic acid that is highly corrosive
and readily penetrates the skin, causing deep tissue layer
destruction. Severity and rapidity of onset of signs and symptoms
depends on the concentration, duration of exposure, and penetrability
of the exposed tissue. Pain may be delayed.
1. CONCENTRATIONS LESS THAN 20% - Erythema and pain may be delayed up
to 24 hours, often not reported until tissue damage is extreme. In one
study, 7% HF produced symptoms in 1 to several hours, 12% HF in less
than one hour, and 14.5% HF immediately.
2. CONCENTRATIONS 20 TO 50% - Erythema and pain may be delayed from 1
to 8 hours, and is often not reported until tissue damage is extreme.
3. CONCENTRATIONS GREATER THAN 50% - Produces immediate burning,
erythema, and tissue damage.

Health Hazard Data: Other Routes of Exposure
SYSTEMIC TOXICITY ? Systemic fluoride toxicity may result from
ingestion, inhalation, or extensive dermal burns. Hypocalcemia,
hypomagnesemia, hyperkalemia (potassium), pulmonary edema, metabolic
acidosis, ventricular arrhythmias, and death are possible.
EYE EXPOSURE ? May result in severe ocular damage with concentrations
greater than 0.5%. Fume exposure commonly causes eye irritation and
can also cause ocular injury. Signs and symptoms may be delayed.
ORAL EXPOSURE ? Ingestion may result in vomiting and abdominal pain;
painful necrotic lesions, hemorrhagic gastritis, and pancreatitis have
been reported after significant exposure. Rectal administration has
caused acute colitis with perforation.
INHALATION EXPOSURE ? Inhalation of hydrofluoric acid vapors may cause
severe throat irritation, cough, dyspnea, cyanosis, lung injury and
pulmonary edema resulting in death.?

This and other information was all found at:
[ ]

How these chemicals are related to each other and Benzene

Generally, the more closely related in structure that two chemicals
are, the more similarly they react.  The first two are somewhat
related in that they are both organic alcohols (organic means they
have oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon atoms). Hydrofluoric acid is an
inorganic acid, and is quite unrelated.

Benzene is also an organic hydrocarbon molecule, and is similar in
size to the first two mentioned.  It, however, has fairly different
chemical properties, that result from its molecular structure.  A
simplified diagram of this structure can be found at:
[ ]

(Also to answer your question, ethylbenzene has a very similar
structure to benzene, but is different.  It has a 2-carbon chain
sticking out from it, and has somewhat, but similar, reactive

Exposure to benzene can also be quite dangerous; it is a known
carcinogen (causes cancer).  Additionally, other health effects

?Short-term effects. Short-term exposure (less than one year) to high
doses (700 -- 3,000 ppm) of benzene may cause drowsiness, dizziness,
headaches, tremors, confusion, and/or unconsciousness. In extreme
cases, death may occur after oral ingestion or inhalation of very high
concentrations (approximately 10,000 -- 20,000 ppm) of benzene (ATSDR,
Long-term effects. Long-term exposure (one year or longer) to benzene
may affect normal blood production and may result in anemia (decreased
ability of blood to transport oxygen) and/or internal bleeding. There
is some evidence that benzene may be harmful to reproductive organs
(ATSDR, 1997). ?
[ ]

?PPM? refers to ?parts per million? and is the usual way toxicity data
is described.

Now you ask, ?Is the chemical Benzene in any way/shape/form related to any of the
above three mentioned chemicals??  This is somewhat subjective, but I
think the correct answer is ?no?.  As you can see from the diagrams,
they are quite different in chemical structure, and react very
differently.  They also have fairly different effects as far as the
health consequences of exposure go; the only reason I could possibly
say they are related is that they are all fairly harmful to be exposed
to.  However, for example, both cyanide and paint thinner are deadly
to drink, that does not mean that they are chemically related (they
are not).

If you had explained further the reason behind this question, perhaps
I could be more specific or focus on particular qualities that might
be related, but I hope this information has been sufficient.  If you
require any clarification, please simply request it, especially before
rating this answer.  Thank you for bringing your question to us!

questions0729-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
My question was answered very quickly and very detailed.

Subject: Re: Is the chemical benzene in any way related to these 3 chemical compounds?
From: xarqi-ga on 18 May 2005 17:34 PDT

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