New data on atmospheric benzene is released
Data from "photographs" of the concentration of benzene in the atmosphere of cities which have been chosen to represent Europe as a whole, will be released at a press conference in Milan, Italy on 26 January 1999. The data is expected to reveal important information about the state of urban air, and how much the cancer-causing molecule benzene is responsible for diseases like leukaemia in our cities.
The data has been collected by the European Union's Joint Research Centre (JRC), as part of a project to try to determine what concentration of benzene in the atmosphere constitutes a serious risk to the public. The forecasts from this project (called "MACBETH" for "Monitoring of atmospheric concentration of benzene in European towns and homes") are important because they will be used to determine the limits set by the 1999 European Directive on benzene emissions.
The project looked at the levels of benzene in the atmosphere of six European cities, as well as the level of benzene that individual citizens in those cities were actually exposed to. This was done to try to find the true effect of different concentrations of benzene in the atmosphere on people who work both indoors and outside.
The results of the research will be announced at the conference.
For more information, please contact:
The Joint Research Centre Press Office
Tel. +0332-789893; Fax +0332-782435