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Thread: New Orleans is Contaminated

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA

    New Orleans is Contaminated

    Would you go back into this?

    Sampling shows contamination

    Chemist opposes return


    Advocate staff writer

    Environmental sampling conducted by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and others shows contamination in several New Orleans areas exceed federal standards for residential communities.
    Wilma Subra, a New Iberia chemist overseeing the sampling project, said the results show that officials should not be allowing residents back home.

    If residents feel compelled to return, they should wear respirators, protective suits and gloves and boots, she said.

    "Babies shouldn't go in, pregnant women shouldn't go in, elderly shouldn't go in," said Subra, who has worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving as technical adviser for community groups living near Superfund sites and sitting on several EPA science advisory committees.

    "If this was a waste site with chemicals exceeding the (residential) criteria, they would not allow unrestricted access," Subra said. "There is a desperate need for EPA to come up with clean criteria" for flooded neighborhoods before allowing residents to return.

    The samples were collected in mid-September in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes by Altamont Environmental of Asheville, N.C., and analyzed by Pace Analytical of New Orleans, which is an EPA-certified laboratory.

    Among the findings were several samples with levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, exceeding the EPA residential standard.

    Many of those PAHs are known or suspected cancer-causing agents.

    In the Lower 9th Ward, sediment tests revealed 12 PAHs.

    One, benzo (a) pyrene, was detected at 195 parts per billion, three times greater than the EPA Region 6 residential standard of 62 parts per billion.

    Arsenic, a known cancer-causing agent, was found at a concentration 75 times higher than the EPA residential standard, she said.

    Subra said the results mean residents could face both short-term and long-term health risks, which could include "respiratory problems, asthma, skin rashes and damage to internal organs -- and, potentially, cancer over the long-term."

    Subra has already been critical of the level of testing by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

    Late Thursday, EPA issued a press release that says sediment and water samples taken Sept. 26 did show some elevated contaminants, including some PAHs.

    In each case, EPA says, levels were "below what Agency for Toxic Substance of the Centers for Disease Control considers to be immediately hazardous to human health."

    The LEAN tests of sediment in the Lower 9th Ward show elevated levels of heavy metals, such as lead, and volatile organic chemicals associated with petroleum products.

    On Agriculture Street, designated as a Superfund site, 10 PAHs were found, with benzo (a) pyrene detected at 2.7 times higher than the EPA residential standard.

    The arsenic concentration was 13.3 times higher than the EPA residential standard, Subra said.

    Sediment in the Morrison Road area contained arsenic levels 28 times greater than the EPA residential standard.

    In the Meraux residential area, sediment was contaminated with elevated levels of benzene, chlorobenzene, toluene and carbon disulfide and the heavy metals barium, chromium and lead, Subra said.

    In a Chalmette residential area, sediment was contaminated with elevated levels of chlorobenzene, toluene, carbon disulfide, barium, cadmium, chromium and lead.

    Last week, Eric Olsen of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group, told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that 25 percent of EPA's own air tests show benzene levels exceeding the National Institutes of Environmental Health and Safety two-week exposure standard of 4 parts per billion.

    EPA's analysis compared those levels to the acute exposure limit of 50 parts per billion -- a level safe only for 24-hour exposure times.

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    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Belgium, near Ghent

    Whay now?????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Mark, the guy who offered the apartment in New Haven, works for the Department of Environmental Protection, and will be down there for 3 months. I feel bad for him and I hope he'll be safe. I couldn't go back there. There's nothing left to go back to.

    I want to donate all the furniture and stuff I can't take with me to the disaster victims but don't know who to contact to get the stuff down there. Anyone know??? I'd rather give it to someone who has nothing than turn it over to the Salvation Army to sell.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    moonsmon-Why not notify your local TV or newspapers and see if they can help find someone to donate that to. These people were left with only the clothes on their backs and I am sure someone would be tickled to death to have it. They need EVERYTHING! They have relocated them all over the country and I bet there are some close to you and even if not, people would be willing to help get it to them. Could you imagine, having to start over again with nothing but the clothes on your back?

    (I know how I felt when I thought that would be ME, wondering WHERE I would go and what I would do... It was a sinking horriable feeling and had Katrina not turned at the last minute, I would be in that group of homeless people. There but by the Grace of God, go I...)

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Milford, NJ
    My mother in law lost everything down there (she lived in Chalmette). She went to see what was left of her house and it wasn't pretty. A nice family in Texas took her and her 2 cats in, but she wants to get back on her feet. When she went down there she had to wear certain clothes and have certain shots before going into the town. So devastating..
    I love my furkid Neko!

    ^TAMA^ 8/24/00 - 4/27/12 Thank you for being in my life I love you always and forever

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