The search for the source of toxic benzene resumed on the International space station after the delivery of new equipment on the cargo ship “Progress,” the crew took measurements in the Russian and American modules, NASA reported.
The Agency’s website notes that Progress MS-15, which arrived at the station on July 23, delivered two American Drager gas analyzers and 90 test plates to search for the source of benzene.
“The crew took measurements of (the) benzene content in (the) Destiny and Zvezda modules using both gas analyzers,” NASA said on its website.
Benzene was detected in the air of the ISS in April. At first, its concentration was kept at the level of 65 micrograms per cubic meter, after which it began to increase. However, as reported in May in Roscosmos, the concentration did not exceed the maximum permissible norm and did not threaten the crew.
The source of the benzene has not yet been found. To reduce its concentration, the crew installed carbon filters.
In June, the only device for searching for the source of benzene – the American air quality analyzer AQM-1-broke down in June while taking measurements in the Russian segment of the station. In this regard, the search was suspended.
Benzene is a colorless liquid with a specific sweet smell. It is a part of gasoline and is used for the production of medicines, plastics, synthetic rubber, and dyes. Toxic and carcinogenic.