The impact of reduction in the benzene limit value in gasoline on airborne benzene, toluene and xylenes levels

15 November 2019

Simon, V., Baer, M., Torres, L., Olivier, S., Meybeck, M., Della Massa, J.P.

Science of the Total Environment, 2005, 334– 335, 177–183

Background benzene, toluene, xylenes (BTX) average concentrations have been measured over the urban agglomeration of Toulouse, France, during both springtime and summer periods of 1999 and 2001.

The benzene average amount over the two Toulouse campaigns in 1999 is equal to 2.2 μg/m3, very close to the French air quality standard and well under the average value of 5 μg/m3, recommended by European Economic Community countries, recognising that those regulations are given for a whole year. BTX pollution over Toulouse has, in particular, been produced by motor vehicle exhaust gases.

For the study conducted during the same periods of 2001, benzene concentrations were within the French quality value in the whole area. This is because the benzene limit value contained in gasoline went from 5% to 1% since 2000 January 1.

It will be important to measure benzene over annual periods in order to know its exact values over such a period and to observe its potential seasonal variations.