Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene, collectively known as BTEX, are volatile organic compounds that can be found in natural waters.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
BTEX can contaminate natural waters through leaks in underground pipes, spills, improper disposal or leaching from landfills. These chemical compounds are known to cause serious health effects to humans and pose a risk if exposed. As a result, a maximum contaminant level of 5 µg/L Benzene was established by the US EPA for drinking water to ensure removal from groundwater and surface water sources. Measurement of BTEX is also commonly required for industrial manufacturers discharging petroleum contaminated water to municipal wastewater treatment plants.
Laboratory measurement of BTEX can be carried out using test Method 602 with gas chromatography (GC) analysis, or Method 624 with gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) analysis.