The Houston Ship Channel has reopened after a benzene spill Thursday afternoon.

Coast Guard crews and a Hazmat team from Harris County worked to clean up about 500 gallons of benzene spilled from a tanker.

The leak was secured but a small portion of the benzene entered the water, according to the Coast Guard.

Benzene is among the 20 most widely used chemicals in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. It is used mainly as a starting material in making other chemicals, including plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.

The Ship Channel was temporarily closed between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou. It reopened about three hours later.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been notified.