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. Some data may have been omiitted. It was not intentional and I hope to improve on data translation to 2-d maps which are easier to assimilate. What we are all looking for is the big picture. We need to look after ourselves. I hope you find it useful.
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. They do not have figures for code red.
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 than the code yellow concern level of 20 micro grams/m3.
I will limit my discussions to the carcinogen benzene whose levels are rising. At 1000 parts per billion (ppb) or 3190 micro grams per cubic meter (g/m3), this chemical causes cancer and or leukemia for long term daily exposure at this level. One part per million is the same as 1000 parts per billion. The reported limit for June 24, 2010 was 23 micrograms/m3 or 7.21 ppb. It is still for this test taken, 138 times below the EPA reported long term danger level. It bears further watching.
The EPA table link is below showing the levels of some volatile organic compounds for EPA Air Sampling June 1 " June 26, 2010; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi
EPA Air Sampling June 1 " June 26, 2010; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi
SAMPLE NUMBER: GI07"20100623"0922"24
RESULT: 23.000 ug/m3or 7.21 ppb
Page 6 of 83 pages on pdf.
Benzene levels are up to70 times higher at these locations below than the background benzene levels of about 1ppb or ND(non detect)
The EPA HAVE SET UP MOBILE LABORATORIES TO TEST FOR TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE AIR. Some of their results for benzene from June 24 to June 29 2010 are included below. Benzene levels at some points are now up to 70 parts per billion, about one fifteenth of the level that NIOSH and OSHA warns us long term exposure will cause cancer and leukemia.
"Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers (TAGA)
In addition to the stationary air monitors that provide information on chemicals or compounds in the air, EPA also has mobilized the Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers (TAGA), self-contained mobile laboratories that conduct real-time monitoring of outdoor air or emissions from various environmental sources.
TAGA Dispersant Air Monitoring
EPA's TAGA bus monitors for two chemicals found in the COREXIT dispersants: EGBE (2-butoxyethanol), and dipropylene glycol mono butyl ether, which have the highest potential to get into the air in any significant amounts. EPA has been monitoring for these chemicals since May 18, 2010. The TAGA bus monitors are able to detect and measure these chemicals if they evaporate into the air. The TAGA bus has detected very low levels of these chemicals in the air, at a limited number of the locations sampled along the Gulf Coast."
Check out these rising values in your area. Latitude and longitude given.
http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/data/taga-june29.pdf Detection Limit for benzene on 06/29/2010 =1.0ppbv
http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/data/taga-june28.pdf Detection Limit for benzene on 06/28/2010 =1.2ppbv
http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/data/taga-june25.pdf Detection Limit for benzene on 06/25/2010 =1.1ppbv
http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/data/taga-june24.pdf Detection Limit for benzene on 06/24/2010 =0.95ppbv
Remember benzene is carcinogenic at 1ppm or 1000 ppb.
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.