Citizen Group Finds 30 Toxic Chemicals in Air Following Tar Sands Oil Spill in Arkansas

May 1, 2013 | By | Reply More

pegasus-oil-spill-arkansas-exxon-537x364Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
Waking Times

Independent air samples by locals have yielded “a soup of toxic chemicals” in Mayflower, Arkansas where an Exxon Mobil pipeline burst on March 29th spilling some 5,000 barrels of tar sands oil, known as bitumen. Chemicals detected included several linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological impacts such as benzene and ethylbenzene. Air samples were taken by community leader and University of Central Arkansas student April Lane a day after the spill. However, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA)’s and Exxon Mobil’s air samples have yielded chemical levels below harm except in the direct clean-up area, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

“Thirty toxic hydrocarbons were measured above the detection limits. Each of the thirty hydrocarbons measured in the Mayflower release is a toxic chemical on its own and may pose a threat to human health depending on various exposure and individual factors,” says Dr. Neil Carman with the Lone Star Chapter of Sierra Club and former Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “Total toxic hydrocarbons were detected at more than 88,000 parts per billion in the ambient air and present a complex airborne mixture or soup of toxic chemicals that residents may have been exposed to from the Mayflower tar sands bitumen spill.”

Oil mined from the Alberta tar sands, known as bitumen, is significantly different than traditional crude: heavier than normal oil, bitumen is treated with several toxic chemicals (such as benzene) in order to lighten it. In an event of an oil spill such as this, bitumen is also radically more challenging to clean up as it sinks in water instead of floating.

In addition to collecting independent air samples, Lane has also been interviewing local residents of Mayflower.

“Even four weeks later, residents are still feeling symptoms from the chemical exposure,” she says in a statement. “People have consistently talked about gastrointestinal problems, headaches, respiratory problems, skin irritation including chemical burns, and extreme fatigue.”

A member of the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group, Lane has been trained in air sampling by the Bucket Brigade program from Global Community Monitor.

Air sampling has also been conducted by the EPA and Exxon Mobil. While Exxon Mobil has admitted that toxic chemicals, such as benzene, were found in the air shortly after the spill, it now says the air is safe. The Arkansas Department of Health has stated that despite local complaints, air samples showed no danger to people aside from the off-limits area where clean-up was occurring.

“State and Federal need to step up immediately to document and prevent any further health issues associated with the Exxon oil spill,” Ruth Breech, a Bucket Brigade trainer with Global Community Monitor said. “Agencies need to share information in a manner to ensure informed decision making and enable access to necessary resources such as medical treatment for chemical exposure.”

Despite the health and environmental concerns, Exxon Mobil has kept reporters out of the spill area, including a no-fly zone over the impacted area, which is still ongoing a month later. Much of the information coming in has come from local groups and activists.

The spill has intensified the already heated debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline which would carry 800,000 barrels a day of tar sands oil 1,700 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for international trade.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Activism, Business, Community, Earth, Energy, Environment, Governance, Society, Time & Space

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Vitamin D for Depression, Dementia, and Diabetes

Vitamin D for Depression, Dementia, and Diabetes













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Vitamin D research has repeatedly shown that vitamin D can improve a number of brain disorders, including depression and dementia—the most devastating form of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated … More

August 21, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.













Waking Times

While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous “killer robots,” the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown.… More

August 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea

The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea













Kevin Sterne, Contributor
Waking Times

Even though the crypto currency, Bitcoin, isn’t exactly new, it still hasn’t infiltrated the mainstream ethos. But it’s getting there. You may have heard the term outside the fringe Internet message boards, or dark bar alleyways—that seemingly hacker-fancied geekdom thing that probably sprang from … More

August 19, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Happy Ending? Or Happy Now

Happy Ending? Or Happy Now













Zen Gardener, Guest
Waking Times

No matter where I turn the awakening is screaming out at me. Every event and announcement of intention by the dark side, no matter how destructive and disturbing, is only precipitating more conscious awareness and very present, personal involvement by humanity. It’s a thrilling … More

August 14, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?

Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Politics affects everyone, so everyone deserves a voice; especially the youth…

It seems like everywhere I go online, I am met with the diligence of Andrew Demeter. I wrote about his award-winning mini-documentary “We The People, Genetically Modified.” Expertly produced, it encompassed a … More

August 12, 2014 | By | Reply More

Activism Works

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy

Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy













Michele Simon, EcoWatch
Waking Times

The East Coast has been getting most of the attention lately on the state by state effort to label genetically-engineered food. Vermont recently passed a bill and New York State’s bill is now moving. But let’s not forget about the western states, which are also … More

June 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More