Originally posted by StealthyKat
reply to post by Ben81
Thanks Ben. I always keep my eyes on any storm in the Gulf (even when they say don't worry about it...because they are famous for getting it wrong) This one looks as if it will affect Alabama and Florida....but I promise you I'll watch it. I need to go check the latest news on the radiation thing..... I know that the main concern was the butane though. They were supposed to test the radiation level (they SAY it was "naturally occuring radioactive waste", whatever THAT means)
What I wonder is why is the Department of Homeland Security involved? A collapsed salt mine is on the DHS's priority list?
A non-government group is urging Bayou Corne sinkhole area residents to use a new record log as a veteran radiation expert says Louisiana environmental officials are “in denial” over hazards posed by elevated radium levels that are actually fifteen times higher than the state limit, a "worst nightmare coming true," according to an environmental attorney
Stanley Waligora, a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on health risks of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) has confirmed that radium levels at Bayou Corne's sinkhole are not within safe limits, but instead, roughly 15 times higher than the state's acceptable level, according to one of the nation's leading environmental attorney's Stuart Smith.
"Radium in the body is absorbed because it is chemically similar to calcium. The normal maximum guideline level for radium in surface water is 5 picoCuries per liter, (pCi/L). The state’s testing found 82 pCi/L in the water of the growing sinkhole. Radium gives off alpha' radiation. This form of radiation is extremely dangerous if inhaled or ingested, and less dangerous if exposed by skin contact."
When radium decays, it produces the dangerous radioactive gas, radon. EPA warns that radon gas causes lung cancer, and exposure can be as hazardous to your lungs as a serious cigarette habit.
"Waligora said officials with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality need to launch immediate additional testing to ensure that the hazardous radium is not leaking into nearby groundwater and posing a threat to human health as well as livestock," Smith has stated Friday.
Waligora's recommendations come two days after Smith's blog first reported that analysis of DEQ test results from Bayou Corne, posted by the LEANouisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), revealed elevated radium levels and airborne chemicals associated with highly volatile butane stored by Crosstex in a cavern near the sinkhole.