Benzene/Toluene/Xylene :: terrestrial ecosystems

Key concerns:

There is almost no information on the effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on vegetation at concentrations likely to be experienced even in polluted urban air, or over timescales longer than a few hours. The literature has been reviewed (Cape, 2003; Collins & Bell, 2002).

Benzene may accumulate in the leaves and fruit of some species, but is unlikely to be of concern at concentrations typical of rural air (Collins et al., 2000).

Road vehicles emit unburnt hydrocarbons, but effects of vehicle exhausts on vegetation are more likely to be caused by the nitrogen oxides emitted than by VOCs (Kammerbauer et al., 1987).

Additional commnets:

Airborne concentrations are measured routinely in cities, but there are few rural data. (UK-AIR).

Environmental limit: 
Habitat/ Ecosystem Type Eunis Code Critical Load/ Level Status Reliability Indication of exceedance Reference
All ecosystems (except freshwater) n/a

None defined

NOEC insufficient data i.e. insufficient data to provide estimate

"No effect" concentrations (NOEC) have been determined for long-term exposure of differe nt plant species to tetrachloroethene (perchloroethylene) C2Cl4. The most sensitive species was bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), with a NOEC of 46 microgram per cubic metre. NOECs for wheat and kale were between 15 and 40 times greater


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