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

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…

Post a Comment

Media Gallery

DMT – The Inner Path to Other Worlds

DMT – The Inner Path to Other Worlds

Video – DMT is a psychoactive chemical produced by the human body and by many plants that causes intense visions and can induce its users to quickly enter a completely different “world.”

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
The Impact of Voting Within the Confines of Society

The Impact of Voting Within the Confines of Society

Video - Russell Brand and Lawrence O’Donnell discuss the impact that voting lacks within the current structure of the political system and society.

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Could You Give Like This Man?

Could You Give Like This Man?

Video – Research suggests that not only is giving good for you—your health, your happiness, and your sense of purpose—but gift-giving activates the good things that people do to heal a wounded world.

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Has Ghana Become the World’s Toxic Dumping Ground?

Has Ghana Become the World’s Toxic Dumping Ground?

Video – A new study has identified the Agbobloshie dumping yard in Ghana’s capital Accra as the place which poses the highest toxic threat to human life.

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
How the 7 Chakras Influence Our Lives

How the 7 Chakras Influence Our Lives

Meme – There are 7 energy centers called chakras in the human body, with each corresponding to a specific aspect of human behavior and development.

By October 20, 2014 2 Comments Read More →

Recent by Waking Times

Dodging the Tuition Debt Bullet

Dodging the Tuition Debt Bullet

Anna Hunt – Student tuition debt is astronomical in the US, and Germany announces free higher ed for all…

By October 11, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Where the Warrior Comes In: Authenticity vs. Manipulation

Where the Warrior Comes In: Authenticity vs. Manipulation

Ida Lawrence, Contributor Waking Times At this moment in time, as we stand on the precipice of devolution or evolution, what does ‘pay attention’ mean to us? Our hearts seek wisdom and courage, and the justified faith that attention can bring. We came into this, so is attention the price of being born… an obligation? […]

A Call To Hearts Lifting to the Higher Self

A Call To Hearts Lifting to the Higher Self

Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor Waking Times When are we going to stop thinking in terms of religion, country, tribe, town, neighborhood, planet, business and I. When will we begin to think in terms of humanity and helping all people reach higher? Yes. It is natural to think about self, but when are we going to […]

By October 7, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Inducing Higher Intelligence and Heightened Senses with Gamma Brain Waves

Inducing Higher Intelligence and Heightened Senses with Gamma Brain Waves

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer Waking Times Brainwave entrainment is a way to train the brain to synchronize to a certain frequency, such as gamma, beta, delta, theta and alpha. Each frequency matches a certain state of consciousness. For example, delta is the brainwave dominant while in an unconscious state such as sleeping; while theta and […]

Dangers of Smart Meters Extend Beyond Radiation Exposure

Dangers of Smart Meters Extend Beyond Radiation Exposure

Waking Times The electro-magnetic radiation given off by smart meters has become a health concern for many, but, millions of people worldwide whose homes have been outfitted with these devices must also be aware of the dangers of overheating and malfunction. Recently, there have been an extraordinary number of smart meter-related fires reported all over […]