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View Diary: At the end of the pipeline: Sickness and death (45 comments)

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  •  In terms of what health effects are attributable (6+ / 0-)
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    hmi, TomP, lorell, melvynny, ichibon, fb

    to pollutants being emitted from petroleum refineries in Port Arthur, TX,  asthma and other respiratory diseases are more important public health endpoints to examine than cancer.  

    Because Port Arthur is a poor community there will be a lot of individuals without health care.  This inevitably means that a lot of individuals there will likely have uncontrolled or poorly controlled asthma problems making them more susceptible to asthma morbidity and mortality from refinery pollutants.

    Here is the TRI emission inventory for Jefferson County for OSHA carcinogen emissions:

    This data shows that, for OSHA carcinogens emitted to the air (the sum of the fugitive and point source columns), the largest carcinogen air emissions in Jefferson County, TX do not come from petroleum refineries in Port Arthur but instead come from emission sources in Beaumont and non-refinery sources in Port Arthur and elsewhere in Jefferson County.

    For Port Arthur, more emissions of pollutants that are OSHA carcinogens come from petrochemical plants than come from petroleum refineries.  (a petroleum refinery is different from a petrochemical facility).  

    None of this emission data tells you what the numerical  risk from exposure to carcinogens is for any given  fence-line community.  That requires air modeling for annual average impacts and comparison to risk-potency numbers for air concentrations of the carcinogens under discussion.

    Finally, it is a mistake to claim that all of the crude from the Keystone XL pipeline will be directed only to refineries in Port Arthur.   That crude will be directed to multiple refineries in the PAD3 area and not just to refineries located in Port Arthur, TX.

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