EPA says oil burns not cancer-causing, similar to smoke from woodstoves — Authors of EPA study express “concerns” about adequacy of sampling

Feds: Spilled-Oil Burns Posed Little Health Risk, Associated Press, November 12, 2010:

Federal scientists say burning oil to clean up the massive Gulf spill released small amounts of toxins, but not enough to pose an added cancer risk to workers and coastal residents. ...

Research released Friday by the EPA found concentrations of cancer-causing dioxins in 27 smoke plumes similar to those created by woodstoves or forest fires.

Little cancer risk from dioxin released during controlled burning of BP oil, new EPA studies conclude, Mark Schleifstein for  The Times-Picayune, November 12, 2010:

However, the results are based on tests of a single composite sample of material captured in the plumes of 27 fires during four days in July, according to a separate paper describing the collection process, and the scientists writing that paper expressed concerns about the adequacy of the sampling. ...

[The sampling occurred] between July 13 and July 16. The offshore in-situ burns were credited with destroying between 220,000 and 310,000 barrels of oil from April 28 to July 19.

"This single sample contained less carbon than was projected to be necessary for PCDD/PCDF analysis," said the study authored by Johanna Aurell, a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow with EPA, and Brian Gullett, a researcher with EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory.

"... by July 15 the well leak had been capped, the surfaceoil had diminised and the sea state prevented further sustainable in situ burns," the study said. The total amount of carbon collected in the four days of sampling "was less than that desired for a single sample... and the sole sample from the field was short of the targeted number of three samples for the campaign."

See the EPA's press release and report information here.

15 comments to EPA says oil burns not cancer-causing, similar to smoke from woodstoves — Authors of EPA study express “concerns” about adequacy of sampling

  • grandma caesar

    yeah, that's a funny little bombshell dropped by mr. schleifstein in that last paragraph.

  • sam

    The very last para is a big red warning light: "A second team concluded that there was a small added risk of cancer to people breathing polluted air or eating tainted fish" http://bit.ly/9Bueer

  • EPA is LYING. In the late 90"s the EU along with the UN and other nations with Exxon and BP and others tested burn offs of oil. Once the testing had concluded the EU and others, initially including the US EPA until this spill, banned burning since it allowed benzene to emit into the atmosphere. The Coast Guard stated the burning was so far out that it would not matter by the time the benzene reached the shore it would not be a problem. There was smoke over the state of Louisiana during these burns so the EPA approved of the contamination of the State of Louisiana's air space which will have adverse health effects on the citizens of Louisiana. Of course the EPA would not admit this, however all these are verifiable facts.

  • Fox

    WTF?>“… by July 15 the well leak had been capped, the surfaceoil had diminised ???
    What planet is this moron from?

    Of course the oil is still out there and more of it hitting the beaches every day. Burning it off the way they did very much send contamination and toxins everywhere the wind and clouds/rain took it.
    Screw their test results! They wouldn't admit to it anyway even if the toxic levels in the smoke was harmful/deadly and off the chart. I suppose we can believe the fumes/smoke tested are just as safe as cigarette smoke and automobile exaust. They allow that kind of pollution to go unchecked in every city of America!

    All the BS we have heard from the Gov.and their henchmen from the start has been a total bunch of outright lies and cover ups. Why believe this crock of crap now or anything else they say is safe for that matter?
    Someone needs to be bitchslapped over this one !

  • Perhaps the Coast Guard would like to demonstrate how safe it is at the shore by doing their morning exercises there. With all that 'huffing-and-puffing', they'd take in great volumes of clean, safe air.

    Come on fellas. Get a video out and give us a good show.

  • xdrfox

    From the begining there has been great concern over the burning of oil. ... http://www.offshoreinjuries.com/maritime-workers-harmed-by-bp-oil-spill-toxic-fumes.shtml

  • xdrfox

    Crude oil emits volatile organic compounds that react with nitrogen oxides to produce ozone. Fires being set by the Coast Guard to burn off oil on the water's surface would produce sooty, acrid smoke. ... "We don't know what the impacts are going to be yet," said Dave Bary, an EPA spokesman in Dallas. "We don't know in what direction this oil will go."
    The potential for unhealthy air quality depends on a variety of factors, particularly the speed and direction of winds that could disperse fumes and determine where they go, said Jonathan Ward, an environmental toxicology professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
    With the leaky Gulf well some 50 miles offshore, Ward said much of the oil vapor likely wouldn't reach land, although the potential for air pollution from the slick will remain as long as the leak continues. ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/07/gulf-oil-spill-human-health_n_567380.html

  • People need to be told the truth. Sadly, that is only coming from wonderful sites like this. You may have heard of the report mentioned below but please share and spread the truth.
    In 2000 "Operation Deep Spill" was conducted (Norway). MMS, BP and many other oil companies learned deep water spills would create underwater plumes; much of the oil never reaches the surface. Worse yet, this is the most toxic oil! Here is what it says on page 89 of the report:
    "This is important information, because the water-soluble compounds are generally the most toxic ones when exposed to marine biota. The results from these measurements show that the rising of the oil through the water column represents a kind of 'stripping' process of some of the most toxic compounds in the oil. The end result is therefore that a portion of the most toxic compounds is left in the water column."

    "Operation Deep Spill" 2001"

    It stands to reason the most toxic compounds remain in the Gulf of Mexico. People are eating seafood from this water. This truly is "important information" that "We the People" need to know! Please share the FACTS- Seeing IS believing!

  • Ain't that something? Now we have two problems: One is the oil spill is continuing to provide new oil, and the second is they're burning the oil -- which will make it even more toxic [think of tires burning]. Oh no! Let's not forget that the dispersant will burn too.

    Great nebulizer! Instead of improving your breathing, your capacity to breathe efficiently is further destroyed.

    Please burn the phones up on Capitol Hill Monday: Let's insist something be done about this armageddon taking place along the GOM: Let's insist that any further lack of acknowlegement -- and action, by our representatives and senators, is a clear act of genocide.

    Genocide. Clearly.

  • xdrfox

    World Health Organization. WHO ... Dioxins and their effects on human health ...

  • xdrfox

    More then you will ever need to know about, The burning of crude oil. ... http://www.thefreelibrary.com/In+Situ+burning+of+oil+spills-a082777392

  • I wrote the truth is only coming from wonderful sites like this... I should have written 'mostly' coming from wonderful sites like this. There are many local news sources along the coast that are getting the story straight. Thank goodness for them and wonderful sites like this. Many thanks!

  • Good grief xdrfox, these articles/information are long enough to choke-a-horse. But I did appreciate the information, even though I was half-comatose because I had just finished a huge Sunday dinner.

    But one thing struck my-funny-bone: The last paragraph reminds me of the WHO's interference in the lifespan of human beings; they want us out-the-door earlier rather than later. You can find their ability to 'input' into the life-death issue on any admission -- or is it discharge? papers of any patient from the hospital.

  • xdrfox

    I adore your humor and wit ! You made my day ! : D

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