Introduction of Ethylbenzene CAS 100-41-4

What is Ethylbenzene?

Ethylbenzene, a volatile organic compound (VOC), is a highly flammable, colorless liquid with an odor similar to that of gasoline.1 Ethylbenzene is a compound in the petroleum contamination (BTEX) group along with benzene, toluene, and xylene.

What Are The Uses for Ethylbenzene?

The vast majority of ethylbenzene produced is used to make styrene, another organic liquid used as a building block for many plastics.2 Ethylbenzene may also be injected into the ground to aid in the recovery of natural gas, and thus migrate into drinking water. Additionally, it can be found in:

Coal Tar

Fuel Additive






Carpet Glues


Tobacco Smoke

Rubber Adhesives




How Might I Come in Contact with Ethylbenzene?

While ethylbenzene is most commonly found in air, you can be exposed to ethylbenzene directly through contact with chemicals in which it is used, or in drinking water and soil.5 Additionally, exposure to ethylbenzene occurs from the use of consumer products, gasoline, pesticides, solvents, carpet glues, varnishes, paints, and tobacco smoke.

The compound is chiefly synthesized industrially. Contact with the compound is usually through contact with a product or chemical in which it is used. Significant exposure to ethylbenzene through products that contain it is more common at the job site rather than in the home.

When ethylbenzene is found in drinking water, the major source is discharge from petroleum refineries.2 Waste sites, underground fuel storage tanks that are leaking, or landfills may also be culprits.

If you live in a city or near factories or highways, you may be exposed to ethylbenzene in the air due to its use in gasoline.