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leukemia 60 articles

Galena Park in Houston Shows Levels of Benzene Higher than “Acceptable”

The Air Alliance Houston has released a report showing that Galena Park, which is reputed to have pockets of benzene throughout the area, has levels of benzene that are higher than acceptable based on standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Air Alliance Houston and other environmental groups successfully sued the EPA in 2012 to push federal regulators toward installing monitoring systems to assess the levels of benzene emitted from the oil refineries close by. Adrian Shelley, the executive director of Air Alliance Houston, decided to try the equipment for herself. “We wanted to get our hands on the equipment and try it ... Read More

New study examines air quality near oil and gas operations as an ‘underexplored human health concern’

A study conducted throughout five states in the U.S. points to unconventional oil and gas production releasing air pollutants that far exceed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommended levels. Throughout the states of Wyoming, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Ohio, 35 air samples were taken at specific oil and gas production sites during increased industrial activity or when workers were feeling negative health symptoms such as headache, nausea or dizziness. According to the report, which was published in the open access journal Environmental Health, researchers “explored air quality at a previously neglected scale: near a range of unconventional oil and gas development and production sites ... Read More

Plumes of Benzene found to be coming from underground pipelines around Houston Ship Channel

When Jay Olaguer, the air-quality science program director at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), and his team of researchers conducted a month-long study in two neighborhoods near the Houston Ship Channel, they found plumes of benzene from the nearby petrochemical industry in expected places. But they were also surprised by some unexpected results. He and his fellow scientists detected many pollutants including benzene coming from the refineries, rail yard and barges in the channel. That was expected. But they also discovered “sporadic, unpredictable belches” of benzene emitted from the ground. Benzene, a key ingredient in gasoline, is a sweet-smelling chemical that is used to make plastics, lubricants, ... Read More

Fumes from Hookah Water Pipes Found to Contain Benzene

Hookahs, a type of water pipe, are considered to be a safe a popular way to smoke, and a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking. But a new study finds that the fumes from hookahs’ water pipes contain the toxic chemical benzene. Nada Kassem, the study author and associate director of the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health at San Diego State University, said, “In contrast to what is believed, hookah tobacco smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking other forms of tobacco.” She further explained, “Hookah tobacco smoking involves the use of burning charcoal that is needed to heat the hookah tobacco to ... Read More

EPA Sets New Rules for Cutting Emissions of Air Pollutants Such as Benzene

In a May press release, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced official steps they are taking to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas sectors, from both new and already existing sources. In the oil and gas industries, the EPA has set new standards that will significantly reduce the methane, volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as benzene, and toxic air pollutants that come from new sources, or ones that have been modified or reconstructed. For the already existing sources, the EPA is issuing an Information Collection Request (ICR), which would require companies to submit information that would lead to methods to successfully ... Read More

Children diagnosed with leukemia after living close to bulk-oil terminal contribute to benzene concerns

Jarrett McElheney was a normal 4-year-old boy in Athens, Ga. He loved swimming in an inflatable pool in the family’s yard. He was energetic and fun-loving, until he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL. While in the hospital’s waiting room, Jarrett’s parents, Jill and Jeff McElheney, found out that a neighbor’s child had also been diagnosed with leukemia. Jarrett’s doctor wrote a letter to federal environmental regulators describing the two children’s close proximity to Southeast Terminals, one of the nation’s 1,500 bulk-oil terminals, containing gasoline, diesel and fuel oil. The doctor requested that the refinery owners, BP and TransMontaigne, investigate whether or not ... Read More

Benzene: A sweet-smelling killer

Benzene, a key ingredient in gasoline, is a sweet-smelling chemical that is used to make plastics, lubricants, dyes and adhesives. It has also been suspected as a link to several blood disorders and cancers, specifically leukemia. As the 17th-most produced chemical in the U.S., benzene can be found in cigarettes and car exhaust fumes. Before federal regulators set occupational exposure limits in 1987, benzene was a common solvent used in pure form by offshore workers and petrochemical industry workers. Other workers who may be at risk are auto mechanics, gas station attendants and even printers because of the extended periods of ... Read More

Incidences of Blood Cancer are Significantly Higher Near Plants that Release Benzene

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that has been on the rise in the last few decades, likely due to the increase of industrial production throughout the U.S. Many refineries and plants release a chemical carcinogen called benzene that is linked to blood cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Catherine Bulka, MPH, used data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Census Bureau to check patterns of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases that occurred between 1999 and 2008 throughout the state of Georgia. She worked with Dr. Christopher Flowers his team in the Lymphoma Program at Emory University to analyze new cases of the blood cancer and the ... Read More

Sugar substitute Splenda linked to leukemia risk

The artificial sweetener sucralose, found in the brand-name sugar substitute Splenda, has been linked to an increased risk of leukemia, according to a study published in the January issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. Italian researchers found “significant dose-related increased incidence of males bearing malignant tumors” and a “significant dose-related increased incident of hematopoietic neoplasias in males” after being fed high amounts of sucralose. Splenda is manufactured by British company Tate & Lyle and America’s Johnson & Johnson. Sucralose-based Splenda products are developed in partnership with Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary McNeil Nutritionals LLC. The product was introduced ... Read More

Houston Air Pollution Study Finds Toxic Levels of Benzene In Surprising Places

The results of an independent study conducted by a group of environmental scientists who tested air pollution in several areas throughout the Houston, Texas, area uncovered some disturbing results for some residents who live in the vicinity of oil pipelines. Scientists with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) expected to find benzene and other toxic substances in the air in Houston neighborhoods near oil refineries and other industrial complexes along the Houston Ship Channel, and they did. Pollution there has been documented for years. But the researchers also found high levels of benzene in the air in neighborhoods near oil ... Read More