Julian Gonzales III
Monday October 20, 2014
The affect benzene spills has on the public and environment
As our economy has expanded, waste of resources and energy has continued growing, and the pressures on environmental protection are increasingly heavy. Since 2010, at least three ruptured pipelines have spilled oil into U.S. neighborhoods, forcing officials to decide quickly whether local residents would be harmed if they breathed the foul air. But because there are no clear federal guidelines saying if or when the public should be evacuated during an oil spill, health officials had to use a patchwork of scientific and regulatory data designed for other situations. As city governments use wells and tankers to supply drinking water during spills, as well as shipping in tankers from neighboring cities. New wells are required to be drilled which may lead to more contamination. The main goal in this paper is to determine how benzene might affect the environment, how might exposure to it affect human health and what steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor.
Benzene evaporates into air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water (EPA). Benzene is highly flammable. Most people can begin to smell benzene in air at approximately 60 ppm of benzene per million parts of air and recognize it as benzene. Most people can begin to taste benzene in water at 0.5- 4.5 ppm. One part per million is approximately equal to one drop in 40 gallons. Benzene is found in air, water, and soil. Benzene comes from both industrial and natural sources. Benzene was first discovered and isolated from coal tar in the 1800s. Today, benzene is made mostly from petroleum. Because of its wide use, benzene ranks in...