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Benzene Abounds in the Grounds of North Dakota

News source KCET.org has dubbed North Dakota the “Oil Spill State” due to the extremely high number of oil spills that have soaked the grounds of the state over the years. The state’s Department of Health Environmental Incidents Reports logged 745 oil spills in just one year, ending May 1, 2017. That’s an average of one oil spill every 11 hours, 45 minutes. In some cases, such as the tank overflow on May 18, 2016, in Bowman County, the spill was as large as 400 barrels, or 16,800 gallons of crude oil as well as 2,400 barrels of brine that flowed ... Read More

Benzene Concerns Prompt Tacoma Community To Buy Air Monitors

Concerned about benzene emissions and other airborne pollutants, some Tacoma, Washington, communities are self-monitoring air quality as two Tacoma Tideflats companies dealing in high volumes of fossil fuels seek to expand their operations. According to The (Tacoma) News Tribune, Targa Sound Terminal, a lessor of petroleum and biofuel storage tanks, plans to add natural gasoline to the fuels it receives by rail, stores, and ships out from its Port of Tacoma location. Meanwhile, Emerald Services, which treats and stores waste and operates a used motor oil refinery, seeks to expand its operations by 10 percent. The Puget Sound Clean Air ... Read More

Benzene exposure blamed for Auto Mechanic cancer diagnosis

An auto mechanic in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against multiple companies alleging his cancer diagnosis is linked to years of benzene exposure. Steven J. Williams, who worked as an auto mechanic since 1982, claims his cancer diagnoses is due to having been exposed to benzene-containing products for long periods of time while on the job. He has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma after regularly using chemicals such as diesel fuel, solvents, paints, and belt dressings. Benzene exposure most often happens through inhalation, but it can also be absorbed through the skin. Once in the bloodstream, benzene makes its way into the bone marrow, which ... Read More

Manufacturer With History of Benzene Emissions Served With Federal Search Warrant

Three federal agencies served a search warrant April 18 to an Erie, Pennsylvania, manufacturer with a history of pollution problems. GoErie.com reports that the search warrant was served to Erie Coke Corp. by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but the agencies provided little details to the public about the reason for the action. “EPA can confirm a federal search warrant is being served at the 925 E. Bay Street in Erie, Pa.,” the EPA said in a news release, according to GoErie.com. “This search ... Read More

EPA Took six Months to Inform residents of Toxic Benzene Levels

When the benzene level in the air at Kim Cupples’ Lansing Township, Michigan, home was found to exceed the state’s evacuation threshold, she says authorities including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t inform her for six months. During the EPA’s routine screening in March 2016, Cupples’ home measured 1.6 micrograms per cubic meter, then in July 2016 measured 5.96 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA’s screening level requiring further evaluation is .36, and the state’s evacuation level is 3.6 micrograms per cubic meter. Despite the extremely high levels, the EPA took six months after the testing to “validate” the results and send ... Read More

Two Porter Ranch Residents Diagnosed with Rare Form of Leukemia linked to benzene exposure

From October 2015 to February 2016, an estimated 97,000 metric tons of natural gas spewed from a storage well in Porter Ranch, Southern California. Around 8,000 families were relocated to prevent long-term exposure to toxic fumes such as benzene, a known link to cancer. Now, 18 months later, two of those Porter Ranch residents are fighting for their lives. Aliya Hall, age 7, spends a lot of her time at Children’s Hospital undergoing chemotherapy. Zaven Islikaplan, 63, spends more time at the hospital than at home due to his brutal rounds of chemo that require regular breathing treatments. Their diagnoses are identical: acute myeloid leukemia (AML), ... Read More

Nigerian court labels Fanta and Sprite ‘ticking health bomb’ for benzene

A Nigerian court has labeled Coke products Fanta and Sprite manufactured by the Nigerian Bottle Company as unfit for human consumption due to to the chemical reaction within the drinks that it says produces benzene. Nine years of deliberation has led to the court’s decision to declare the two drinks “poisonous,” because the high levels of benzoic acid and ascorbic acid combine to produce benzene. The chemical benzene is a known human carcinogen that has been linked to serious blood diseases such as leukemia, specifically AML and MDS. World Now News described the drinks as a “ticking health bomb.” The struggle began ... Read More

Benzene found in well water in Tennessee; City and County argue over funding repairs

For six years, many residents of Lewisburg, Tennessee can only drink bottled water. They refuse to drink their own tap water after the state found benzene and other contaminates in the well water back in 2011. When the State of Tennessee offered a grant to pay half the cost of repairing the water contamination issue, the city and county began fighting over the money. Pipelines to carry city water to the residents on both sides of Craig Moore Road have already been installed, but a two-mile section is missing from the middle. Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham said the city can’t afford ... Read More

Leaking fuel tank leads to benzene exposure risk; 2,600 Gallons of Gasoline Removed from Soil

A leaking premium fuel tank was discovered mid-August behind Robbinsville Crown service station in Robbinsville, North Carolina, spilling benzene-containing fuel into the ground. A cleanup crew has tackled the issue, removing more than 2,600 gallons of gasoline from the ground, which is enough to refuel a 15-gallon vehicle tank 173 times. “They’re continuing to do free product recovery,” Jan Anderson from the state Division of Waste Management told the Graham Star. “It’s an ongoing abatement.” The gasoline has also contaminated both Tallulah Creek and the Cheoah River. “The section of stream immediately downstream of the release is exceeding surface water standards ... Read More

Benzene Lawsuit draws attention to exposure dangers in tire manufacturing industry

Two days after marrying his wife Anita, Paul Manny landed a job at Uniroyal in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as a tire analyst, testing tires under varying weights and speeds as part of his job description. Paul, as well as many other workers at the time, used gasoline as a degreaser to clean up at work. Many aspects of Paul’s job concerned Anita. “I worried about him,” she said. When Paul was discovered to have an enlarged spleen, more tests were ordered. His diagnosis was polycythemia vera, a slow-forming blood cancer affecting the bone marrow. “I didn’t know it would cause this,” Anita ... Read More