1,000 ppb TOLUENE found in INLAND waters near Florida border; “Hydrocarbon levels that exceed safe exposure limits” present in multiple areas (RESULTS & AUDIO)

Summary of WATER Sample Laboratory Results — MC252 Oil Release, City of Orange Beach, AL, August 23, 2010:

Chemicals of Concern (COCs) are the tested parameters for the MC252 Oil Spill… These COCs are considered by EPA and ADEM as having carcinogenic characteristics:

8/12/10 Site 10 – Walker Ave.; Moderate Concern – Site Sample Results Yield Detections for COCs at or Below the EPA and/or ADEM Health Screening Levels; Toluene @ 1 ppm.

Summary of WATER Sample Lab Results - Orange Beach, AL

Morning Edition alludes to these findings in today’s report Gulf Communities Investigate Spill’s Oily Residue.

According to the radio show, Krebs Architecture and Engineering and Cameron Consulting were hired by the city to monitor for oil in the air, water and soil, and “has found isolated cases of hydrocarbon levels that exceed safe exposure limits, both in the Gulf and in back bay waters.”

“Orange Beach city hall has been inundated with calls from residents with complaints — foam that they think is dispersant, a grey-metallic slick in back bays, or seaweed that looks oiled,” Morning Edition reported.

Audio available here at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

Chemical Fact Sheets — Toluene, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, July 12, 2010:

When toluene is spilled on the ground or improperly disposed, it can seep into soil and contaminate nearby wells and streams.

Toluene can remain unchanged for a long time in soil or water that is not in contact with air.

Breathing: … People who live near industries using toluene may be exposed to the chemical in the air. If home water supplies are contaminated, people may inhale the chemical while washing, bathing or using water for other household purposes.

Drinking/Eating: People may be exposed by drinking contaminated water, handling contaminated soils or touching their mouths…

Water: The Wisconsin drinking water standard is 343 parts per billion (ppb) of toluene. We suggest you stop drinking water that contains higher levels. If levels of toluene are very high in your water, you should avoid washing, bathing, or using the water for other purposes. …

The following health effects can occur after several years of exposure to toluene… [on] Organ Systems: Damage to the brain, liver, bone marrow and kidneys can occur. In general, chemicals affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed.

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