The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) classifies benzene as a human carcinogen.
Besides looking elegant, the formula of benzene (C6
) caused a mystery for some time after its discovery, as no explanation had been found that could account for all the bonds - carbon usually forms four single bonds and hydrogen one.
Breathing very high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness, and a neat conversation-starter at your funeral. A real mixed blessing if you've lead a boring life.