Classified as one of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), xylene is a clear, flammable liquid deemed a lethal compound if released into the environment during oil and gas operations. Commonly used as a solvent in the processing of pesticides, farming sprays, adhesives, coatings, and an animal feed ingredient in manufacturing, xylene is also integral in aviation fuel and gasoline processing to remove organic deposits like asphalt. Warnings are given in the upstream petroleum industry where xylene is extensively used that such toxins like xylene can be harmful and must be mitigated or substituted.

Xylene in Oil and Gas Operations