Sunday, September 27, 2009

So much for "clean burning" natural gas!

I bet the residents of Dish don't agree that natural gas is the "clean" source of energy of the future. They recently hired a company to study the air quality in their town after numerous complaints about odor and noise.

Wolf Eagle Environmental, a company located in Flower Mound, did the study and their findings were shocking. They found high levels of 15 chemicals at five of seven test sites. These chemicals included benzene, xylene, naphthalene and carbon disulfide. The levels of these chemicals were 10 times the recommended level for short-term exposure. Some were high enough to be considered an immediate danger. Below is a little info from the OSHA site on these chemicals.

Benzene: With exposures from less than five years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed, and died from, leukemia. Long-term exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death.

Xylene: may cause central nervous system depression, anemia, mucosal hemorrhage, bone marrow hyperplasia, liver enlargement, liver necrosis, and nephrosis [Clayton and Clayton 1981, p. 3295]. Repeated contact of the skin with xylene causes drying and dermatitis [Clayton and Clayton 1981, p. 3295].

Naphthalene: Exposure to this chemical will cause the following: Irritation eyes; headache, confusion, excitement, malaise (vague feeling of discomfort); nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain; irritation bladder; profuse sweating; jaundice; hematuria (blood in the urine), renal shutdown; dermatitis, optical neuritis, corneal damage

Carbon Disulfide: adverse effects in humans of exposure to carbon disulfide include coronary heart disease, organic brain damage, peripheral nervous system decrements, neurobehavioral dysfunction, and ocular and auditory effects

It seems like every time you turn around there are more stories about gas drilling's negative effects on air, water, and soil. Yet the gas companies spend millions on public relations and want us to believe they care about people and the environment. The love to use words like "green" and "clean burning".

My momma always told me....actions speak louder than words!

below is a few paragraphs from the Star Telegram article

A new study shows high level of potentially harmful air pollution in the town of DISH in Denton County.
DISH sits next to several large compressor stations, which process natural gas from the Barnett Shale and pressurize it for shipment across the country. Residents have complained for years about the smell and the noise.

The study, done by Wolf Eagle Environmental and paid for by the Town Council, found high levels of 15 chemicals, including benzene, xylene, naphthalene and carbon disulfide at five of seven test sites. In some cases the levels were 10 times the recommended level for short-term exposure, and some levels were high enough to be an immediate danger, according to the study. It said, however, that the results were only a one-time snapshot.

Mayor Calvin Tillman, who has been fighting the pipeline companies for about a year, said the study proves that state regulators need to take action.
"I don’t believe this was a one-day event," he said. And even if it was, "you still broke some thresholds for short-term exposure to these chemicals."

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