Benzidine is a manufactured chemical that does not occur naturally. It is a crystalline (sandy or sugar-like) solid that may be grayish-yellow, white, or reddish-gray. It will evaporate slowly from water and soil. Its flammability, smell, and taste have not been described. Benzidine also has other names, such as 4,4'-diphenylenediamine or Fast Corinth Base B (a registered trade name). In the environment, benzidine is found in either its "free" state (as an organic base), or as a salt (for example, benzidine dihydrochloride or benzidine sulfate). In air, benzidine is found attached to suspended particles or as a vapor.
In the past, industry used large amounts of benzidine to produce dyes for cloth, paper, and leather. However, it has not been made for sale in the United States since the mid-1970s. Major U.S. dye companies no longer make benzidine-based dyes. Benzidine is no longer used in medical laboratories or in the rubber and plastics industries. However, small amounts of benzidine may still be manufactured or imported for scientific research in laboratories or for other specialized uses. Some benzidine-based dyes (or products dyed with them) may also still be brought into the United States.
Occupational exposure has been associated with increased risk of urinary bladder cancer. This substance has been found in at least 28 of the 1,585 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
See a doctor if you have been harmed by benzidine. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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