Toxic, volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon byproduct of coal distillation. It is used as an industrial solvent in paints, varnishes, lacquer thinners, gasoline, etc. Benzene causes central nervous system damage acutely and bone marrow damage chronically and is carcinogenic. It was formerly used as parasiticide.
Mold and yeast inhibitor. Used as a fungistatic agent for foods, especially cheeses.