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1,3-Butadiene is used to produce synthetic rubber products, such as tires.

What is 1,3-butadiene?

1,3-Butadiene is a colorless gas at room temperature with a gasoline-like odor. It is used to produce synthetic rubber products, such as tires, resins, and plastics, and other chemicals.

How are people exposed to 1,3-butadiene?

Exposure to 1,3-butadiene mainly occurs among workers who breath contaminated air on the job. Other sources of exposure include automobile exhaust; tobacco smoke; and polluted air and water near chemical, plastic, or rubber facilities.

Which cancers are associated with exposure to 1,3-butadiene?

Studies have consistently shown an association between occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene and an increased incidence of leukemia.

How can exposures be reduced?

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has information on exposure limits for 1,3-butadiene. People can also reduce their exposure to 1,3-butadiene by avoiding tobacco smoke.

Selected References:

  • Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. 1,3-Butadiene Fact Sheet. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2009. Available online. Last accessed June 5, 2024.
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer. 1,3 Butadiene, IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 97. Lyon, France: World Health Organization, 2012. Also available online. Last accessed January 31, 2019.
  • National Toxicology Program. 1,3 Butadiene, Report on Carcinogens, Fifteenth Edition. Triangle Park, NC: National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety, 2021. Also available online. Last accessed December 5, 2022.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1,3-Butadiene, Safety and Health Topics. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. Available online. Last accessed January 31, 2019.
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