Benzene is only one of many cancer causing agents in petroleum. So I read this with interest. If federal officials burn some of the oil slick in the Gulf and the smoke heads for Tampa, there are apparently plans in place to evacuate parts of Tampa if necessary. That seems extreme to me.
As FEMA and other government agencies prepare for what is now being called by some, the worst oil spill disaster in history, plans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are in place.
The plans would be announed in the event of a controlled burn of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico, if wind or other conditions are expected to take the toxic fumes through Tampa Bay.
You can read more about this over at the examiner.com
Read through the comments on that page. There is clearly some conflicting onformation on this. But it does make sense that the community woudl be worried about any type of oil slick burn off for particularly this reason…the prevailing winds would probably send some level of toxic smoke over Florida.
This is an amazing story. I didn’t know until reading this that there was a huge oil spill in Brooklyn. 17 Million Gallons…
When Laura Hofmann steps out her front door and takes a deep breath, she’s sometimes overwhelmed by petroleum vapors. Hofmann, a lifelong resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, doesn’t live next door to a gas station; she lives beside the nation’s largest oil spill.
An estimated 17 million gallons of oil (at least one-and-a-half times the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound in 1989) from spills at ExxonMobil’s Greenpoint refineries and storage facilities soaked into the ground over the last century, creating a 55-acre plume of oil floating on top of groundwater 30-40 feet underground. Residents of this working-class neighborhood have been living with the spill for more than 50 years, enduring vapors seeping into some basements and wafting through the streets from nearby Newtown Creek, which the petroleum trickles into. A cleanup has been going on for three decades, but only about half of the oil has been removed. Only recently has the government sought to force accelerated remediation.
Though the EPA’s sampling of 52 homes above the plume last year found no indoor vapor exposure, tests performed by Riverkeeper revealed that the spill has released toxic vapors like benzene into Greenpoint. According to the CDC, long-term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia, and the immediate effects of inhaling benzene and other components found in petroleum, such as toluene and xylene, include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.
Read the Full Article Here: Plenty Magazine