Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BP'S Benzene Blows ashore in the Gulf

"Keep checking out the EPA links and look out for rising benzene levels to protect your health. It certainly does not look good. Basically do not breathe if you can help it. Do not drink the water, swim in the sea, eat any sea food or land food close to the gulf. Do not touch anything and close your eyes, mouth and nose for the toxic volatiles and miscibles. Otherwise you will be fine."

By Chris Landau (Geologist/meteorologist)

Please open the link to see a map of benzene locations I have plotted, for 114 points using data from the EPA web site. I have used values above 4 parts per billion for data gathered by the mobile testing stations for the period June 24-29.

EPA has a table that makes recommendations for levels of certain volatile organic compounds in micrograms/m3. At code yellow, they express a level of health concern for the public.

Benzene levels have risen in some places to EPA Code yellow or 20 micro grams/m3. 1000 ppb= 3.19 micro grams per cubic meter or1 ppm benzene = 3.19 mg/m3. The highest level recorded for the few days, I took the data was about 72.831 ppb. That translates to 232.33 micro grams/m3. I wonder what code red is?

232.33micro grams/m3 is more than 10 times higher (emphasis mine) than the code yellow concern level of 20 micro grams/m3.

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