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Emissions data hazy after power failures

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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:57 PM

TEXAS CITY — The power stayed on at the industrial complexes Thursday after three days of outages, blips and unit shutdowns led to a lot of flaring. But as work crews clean power equipment of salt and dirt thought to have caused the outages, power company officials said it might be three weeks before the work is complete but that primary service work should be done by the weekend.


Related to:

Published April 28, 2011 TEXAS CITY — More than 89,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide and about 1,000 pounds of benzene were estimated to have been released by two refineries during a 24 hour period following a massive power outage that led to excessive flaring at Texas City’s major industrial complexes Monday night and Tuesday morning.


Blasted iPhone
edit on 28-6-2011 by jadedANDcynical because: Sourced lead story.


In this thread, I detail how I my wife and I were awakened by a call from the system we have in town for this exact sort of occurrence. This time there was no such call.

I don't know about you, but I don't think that sulfur dioxide is a very beneficial compound. From the previous link:

Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant and has significant impacts upon human health. In addition the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can influence the habitat suitability for plant communities as well as animal life

But surely 89000 pounds isn't a tremendous amount, is it?

Inhaling sulfur dioxide is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death.[17] In 2008, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists reduced the Short-term exposure limit from 5 ppm to 0.25 ppm. The OSHA PEL is currently set at 5 ppm (13 mg/m3) time weighted average. NIOSH has set the IDLH at 100 ppm.[18]

Can someone help me with the math on this? What volume of air would the reported amount of sulfur dioxide contaminate with 0.25 ppm?

And then there's benzene, let's see what the Wiki says about this particular compound:

Benzene exposure has serious health effects. The American Petroleum Institute (API) stated in 1948 that "it is generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero."[29] The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of benzene in the air causes leukemia, a potentially fatal cancer of the blood-forming organs, in susceptible individuals. In particular, Acute myeloid leukemia or acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia (AML & ANLL) is not disputed to be caused by benzene.[30] IARC rated benzene as "known to be carcinogenic to humans" (Group 1).

That sounds a tad more concerning than sulfur dioxide, does it not?

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit of 1 part of benzene per million parts of air (1 ppm) in the workplace during an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek. The short term exposure limit for airborne benzene is 5 ppm for 15 minutes.[42] These legal limits were based on studies demonstrating compelling evidence of health risk to workers exposed to benzene. The risk from exposure to 1 ppm for a working lifetime has been estimated as 5 excess leukemia deaths per 1,000 employees exposed. (This estimate assumes no threshold for benzene's carcinogenic effects.) OSHA has also established an action level of 0.5 ppm to encourage even lower exposures in the workplace.[43]

Need a little more math help here, if someone would be so kind. What are the potentials with this size of a release?

I know no one at the Galveston Daily News will be able to tell me anything of substance, so I ask my fellow ATSers with full confidence that someone will be able to shed some light on this.

edit on 28-6-2011 by jadedANDcynical because: fleshed out the thread a bit

posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 07:16 PM
reply to post by jadedANDcynical

I'm guessing "blasted iPhone" probably has something to do with the moron written dictionary we all have in our Android phones or iphones, well not all I guess.

Oh, on topic, don't worry about it, we all live life specifically to reach death, so what does the government or media care if toxic emissions shorten our path or turn our asphalt life path to a rocky dirt road. No since in worrying. Enjoy the time you have, best thing you can do is turn your "breakdown on the dirt road" into an enjoyable sunset walk.
edit on 28-6-2011 by DarkSarcasm because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-6-2011 by DarkSarcasm because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by DarkSarcasm

Oh, I can agree with your statement, but does the road have to keep getting bumpier and filled with deeper pot holes?

I'm all for a drive along roads less well traversed, don't get me wrong. Life would be boring indeed if there were no challenges to face or dangers to overcome.

Several of my wife's friends ended up with cancer when a similar release happened and they were out on the football field during school (she was in high school at the time) so we know first hand what sorts of things can happen.

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