Benzene (C6H6), simplest organic, aromatic hydrocarbon and parent compound of numerous important aromatic compounds. Benzene is a colourless liquid with a characteristic odour and is primarily used in the production of polystyrene. It is highly toxic and is a known carcinogen; exposure to it may cause leukemia. Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical.Benzene is found in crude oil and is a major part of gasoline. It's used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. Benzene is produced naturally by volcanoes and forest fires.