What is the Environmental Impact of BTEX?
BTEX refers to the chemicals Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene. The term BTEX reflects the fact that the substances are often found together at contaminated sites. All four of these hazardous components are found in petroleum products.
BTEX compounds are involved in the formation of ground level ozone that can be damaging to plants and materials. The properties of BTEX compounds mean that most releases end up in the atmosphere, although some can be bound (relatively briefly) to soils and sediments. They react with other air pollution and are broken down, returned to the earth or involved in the formation of photochemical smog. Higher concentrations of BTEX resulting from a spillage are moderately toxic to aquatic life.