14 June 2010

deepwater horizon oil catastrophe: carcinogenic gases measurable onshore

what happens when oil compounds break down and go airborne

4wwl reports: seven monitoring stations mainly in the parishes of st. bernard and plaquemines as well as a mobile truck have been taking air quality samples in louisiana since at least late april, early may, days after the deepwater horizon explosion..

on 02 may 2010 (12 days from the explosion that as of this post is still unresolved at day 55) the station at venice (plaquemines parish) recorded hydrogen sulfide in the air at the rate of 30 parts per billion. the next day the rate had jumped up to 1,192ppb only to go back down again to 46 then spiked again to 1,010 on 05 may.

according to the report a "normal level" exposure ranges from 5 - 10 parts per billion. some reports we've read about benzene say that since it is such a toxic carcinogenic -0- is the only acceptable exposure level. (three page .pdf 323 kb).

wilma subra a chemist at new iberia believes from her labs analysis that the air quality is far more dire and says that

"they're [levels] there at a little over the levels that you would expect to start getting those health impacts and so that is of concern that the people understand what is there and understand that if they start getting the health impacts they should take precautions to move out of the area."
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