Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recent article on Denton County Air

Breathing Denton County's air may be risky. A recent article by Peggy Heinkle-Wolfe in the Denton RC stated the following:

Denton County residents faced the same risk of developing neurological conditions as the national average. But the risk posed for cancer and respiratory diseases is nearly 25 percent higher in Denton County than the national average and 41 times the EPA’s target of 1 person per million, according to its Web site.

The Oil & Gas industry (and apparently some members of the Flower Mound Town Council) don't seem to believe that natural gas production has anything to do with the high benzene levels found at some Denton County pad sites. The article goes on to mention the following.

However, recent inspections by the TCEQ have found substantial emissions elsewhere at gas plants and wellheads, near condensate tanks, vent stacks and even unlit flares.

The article also mentions studies by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

A 2004 National Cancer Institute study of workers in a shoe manufacturing plant showed that exposure as low as one part per million of benzene in the air was enough to change the workers’ white blood cell counts.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who are regularly exposed to low levels of benzene can develop severe anemia, leukemia and lymphoma.

We have heard quite a bit about Leukemia right here in Flower Mound in the past month.

Hydrocarbons have other effects. This study on Prenatal Airborne Hydrocarbon Exposure mentions the effect that Benzene has on a child's IQ.

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