Leaking Gas Well in Los Angeles Creates Benzene Exposure Concerns
LA Testing provides analytical services and sampling supplies to identify benzene to help prevent human exposure to this known carcinogen.
In January, a number of media outlets reported that the ongoing crisis caused by a leaking natural gas well in Porter Ranch could also be exposing people to elevated levels of a known carcinogen. The gas leak has already forced the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents in the California community, but now reports about air samples taken by the utility also involve more cases of elevated levels of benzene.
Previously, the utility had only reported two air samples over the past several months that showed elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical. When the utility was asked about apparent discrepancies in published data, they reported that elevated levels of benzene had actually been recorded at least 14 times.
Since 1987, benzene has been listed on California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known by its original name of Proposition 65. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also classified benzene as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure.
Benzene is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. It evaporates into the air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. It is highly flammable and is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
“While benzene exposure is a concern for residents of Porter Ranch, many people don’t realize they can also be exposed to benzene from products that contain the chemical that they encounter on a regular basis,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “In addition to potential exposure due to cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust, products such as glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents may contain the chemical. The air around hazardous waste sites and gas stations, as well as in industries that make or use benzene, could put people at risk for exposure to elevated levels of the chemical.”
LA Testing provides comprehensive benzene testing services to help identify its presence from both outdoor and indoor samples. They have also sponsored a video about benzene exposure risks at home and in the work environment that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/wqByUP13-Hk.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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