And so the cancer sicknesses can begin to take their toll on humans (from Facing South):
Today the Louisiana Environmental Action Network released its analysis of air monitoring test results by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s air testing data comes from Venice, a coastal community 75 miles south of New Orleans in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish.
The findings show that levels of airborne chemicals have far exceeded state standards and what’s considered safe for human exposure.
For instance, hydrogen sulfide has been detected at concentrations more than 100 times greater than the level known to cause physical reactions in people. Among the health effects of hydrogen sulfide exposure are eye and respiratory irritation as well as nausea, dizziness, confusion and headache.
The concentration threshold for people to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion. But as recently as last Thursday, the EPA measured levels at 1,000 ppb. The highest levels of airborne hydrogen sulfide measured so far were on May 3, at 1,192 ppb.
Testing data also shows levels of volatile organic chemicals that far exceed Louisiana’s own ambient air standards. VOCs cause acute physical health symptoms including eye, skin and respiratory irritation as well as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and confusion.
Louisiana’s ambient air standard for the VOC benzene, for example, is 3.76 ppb, while its standard for methylene chloride is 61.25 ppb. Long-term exposure to airborne benzene has been linked to cancer, while the EPA considers methylene chloride a probable carcinogen.
Air testing results show VOC concentrations far above these state standards. On May 6, for example, the EPA measured VOCs at levels of 483 ppb. The highest levels detected to date were on April 30, at 3,084 ppb, following by May 2, at 3,416 ppb.
Have you still got that idiotic idea of a Florida vacation in mind? We put that out of our mind before this, but now, even if someone GAVE me the money and everything was free, I wouldn’t drive to spend a minute there.
Our world in the SE USA (and likely beyond) is doomed yet the response is almost exactly the same as we are getting with the banking fiasco ripoff. Just more obfuscation, finger pointing and little else of substance to change the reality (or even acknowledge it fully). Washington’s Blog makes the connection:
As ABC News notes, the White House allowed BP to suppress video of the oil spill for 3 weeks; and a top oil spill expert says that BP’s use of booms around the spill site now won’t really do anything … and is just an exercise in public relations so that it looks like it’s doing something.
BP is also using dispersants to hide the extent of the oil spill. Specifically, as many commentators note, the dispersants cause much of the oil to sink, so that it appears that the spill isn’t that big. But the dispersants are not only highly toxic, but will also probably make the damage from the oil itself even worse.
Moreover, just as the cover-up about the severity of the financial crisis has allowed Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and most of Congress to kill real financial reform, BP and the government’s drastic underplaying of the size of the spill has allowed BP to skate by without taking emergency actions, such as bringing in booms on an emergency basis, or to undertake more pro-active and creative responses.
And just as nothing has changed going forward with regard to the economy since the 2008 meltdown, nothing has changed with regard to offshore drilling.
For example, since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20th, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. And a whistleblower who survived the Gulf oil explosion claims in a lawsuit filed today that BP’s operations at another oil platform risk another catastrophic accident that could “dwarf” the Gulf oil spill, partly because BP never even reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation.
Indeed, the industry and government spokespeople have used the exact same word as each crisis – financial and environmental – unfolded. They said the problem was “contained”.
In both cases, we the people are left holding the bag because the giant companies and their campaign-contribution-buddies in DC are trying to sweep the severity of the problem under the rug, to manage the crisis as p.r. campaigns to protect those who let it happen … instead of actually taking steps necessary to solve the problems, and to make sure they won’t happen again.
I wonder if this seems futile to you (especially considering that MOST of the oil is purposefully being dispersed under water).
BTW: As I previously noted, the Gulf Currents have already grabbed the oil and is spreading it to the rest of the Sunshine State. Ed at Not Another Conspiracy tells us that tarballs have reached The Florida Keys.
Now answer this. Will someone get pissed when it hits the eastern seaboard or should we wait until it hits Europe?