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Bring down benzene emission at fuel outlets says panel

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Bring down benzene emission at fuel outlets, says panel:


A joint committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to study air pollution in Kerala has made the following recommendations:

  1. Installation of vapour recovery system at fuelling stations.
  2. Retrofitting of diesel vehicles with particulate filters.
  3. Stringent action to be taken against industrial units that do not comply with emission norms.
  4. Promote battery-operated vehicles and ban old diesel vehicles in a phased manner.
  5. Creation of green buffers along traffic corridors.

The short-term measures recommended include:

  1. Strict action against visibly polluting vehicles (to be initiated by the Motor Vehicles Department).
  2. Introduction of wet / mechanised vacuum sweeping of roads.
  3. Controlling dust pollution at construction sites.
  4. Ensuring transport of construction materials in covered vehicles.

Need for:

Petrol refuelling stations are a major source of benzene emissions, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter 2.5 concentration. Therefore, installation of vapour recovery system is an important step in improving air quality. The committee recommended that this is to be implemented in coordination with the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization [PESO] shortly.

Sources of Benzene:

  • Automobile and petroleum industry.
  • Incomplete combustion of coal oil, petrol and wood.
  • Found in cigarette smoke and charcoal boiled food.
  • Also present in particleboard furniture, plywood, fibreglass, flooring adhesives, paints, wood panelling.


Prelims Link:

  1. About NGT.
  2. Composition and functions of NGT.
  3. Benzene- sources (Asked in UPSC Pre).
  4. Effects of benzene on human health.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of benzene pollution on human health.

Sources: the Hindu.