May 2, 2013
“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,” Dr. Neil Carman said in a prepared statement about a local study performed in the wake of the accident. Carman is with the Lone Star Chapter of Sierra Club and is a former industrial plant investigator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The study by the Faulkner County Concerned Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor revealed that at least 30 hazardous chemicals were detected in the air following the 500,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline.
The chemicals included include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane and xylenes. Exposure to ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and birth defects, while the inhalation of n-hexane can damage the nervous system and produce numbness, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches and fatigue.
Community activist April Lane, who has collected health reports from residents since the March 29 accident, said some locals are still feeling symptoms from the chemical exposure. These involve gastrointestinal problems, headaches, respiratory problems, skin irritation and extreme fatigue.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel hired the crisis management firm Witt O’Brien’s to perform an analysis of the cleanup. However, the company’s mission at Mayflower is more about cover-up than cleanup, claims DeSmogBlog.com, a whistleblowing outfit devoted to exposing “global warming misinformation campaigns.”
“O’Brien’s has had its hands in the botched clean-up efforts of almost every high-profile oil spill disaster in recent U.S. history,” wrote Steven Horn on DeBlogSmog’s website, “including the Exxon Valdez spill, the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, the Enbridge tar sands pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River, and Hurricane Sandy.”
Horn also noted that Witt O’Briens’ clients include corporate oil and gas titans, and many of its own employees hail from that industry.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman
This content was brought to you by Intellihub.com