Benzene exposure and cancer risk from commercial gasoline station fueling events using a novel self-sampling protocol

Andrew N. Patton, Misti Levy-Zamora, Mary Fox, Kirsten Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tens of millions of individuals go to gasoline stations on a daily basis in the United States. One of the constituents of gasoline is benzene, a Group 1 carcinogen that has been strongly linked to both occupational and non-occupational leukemias. While benzene content in gasoline is federally regulated, there is approximately a thirty-year data gap in United States research on benzene exposures from pumping gasoline. Using a novel self-sampling protocol with whole air canisters, we conducted a gasoline pumping exposure assessment for benzene, toluene, ethylben-zene, and xylene (BTEX) on Baltimore, MD consumers. Geometric mean exposures (geometric standard deviations) were 3.2 (2.7) ppb,9.5 (3.5) ppb, 2.0 (2.8) ppb, and 7.3 (3.0) ppb, respectively, on 32 samples. Using the benzene exposures, we conducted consumer and occupational probabilistic risk assessments and contextualized the risk with ambient benzene exposure risk. We found that the consumer scenarios did not approach the 1:1,000,000 excess risk management threshold and that the occupational scenario did not exceed the 1:10,000 excess risk management threshold. Further, in all Monte Carlo trials, the ambient risk from benzene exposure exceeded that of pumping risk for consumers, but that in approximately 30% of occupational trials, the pumping risk exceeded the ambient risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1872
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2021


  • Benzene
  • Exposure assessment
  • Gasoline
  • Probabilistic risk assessment
  • TVOC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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