The primary source of benzene in forest fires is from the combustion of wood. Burning homes and other structures are secondary sources. Benzene cannot be produced from PVC combustion in an open-air fire. Some reports suggest trace amounts of benzene can be released in a process known as pyrolysis, when it is heated in a highly controlled environment in which air is completely absent. However, pyrolysis of buried PVC water mains does not occur during wildfires. For these additional reasons, PVC water pipes could not have released the benzene found in the drinking water in these communities.

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