What are aromatics, what's their chemical composition and how are they manufactured?

Why are aromatics not replaced with other, no-risk products?

Replacing aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylenes) today would not be wise, because there are no substitutes known to date and benzene is still essential for the synthesis of the various products derived from it. Furthermore, aromatics are natural products, and their proprieties and associated risks are known, and have been – and still are – extensively studied. Before proposing the adoption of possible substitutions, one should remember that new products have not been as extensively studied and tested as those that have been used for decades – or centuries.

Very few human activities are entirely devoid of hazard; it is by taking common-sense precautions that we minimise the risk they involve – e.g. by looking left and right before crossing the street. Similarly, common sense tells us that zero-risk products, whether natural or man-made, do not exist. Even common, over-the-counter pain-killers, for example, have to be taken following strict precautions, such as not exceeding a certain dose, or not ingesting them on an empty stomach. This is what "managing the risks" means.

Complying with the control measures protecting consumers and workers, detailed in other parts of this FAQ, allows avoiding any undue risks to employees or the general public.