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Gulf oil spill: Fouling air as well as water?

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Bill Sasser
CS Monitor
July 19, 2010

Questions about air pollution related to the BP oil spill may get some clearer answers this coming week, as university researchers and a Louisiana environmental group release initial findings of their independent analysis of the Gulf region’s air quality.

Last week, the EPA said that residents of two hard hit coastal communities in Louisiana – Grand Isle and Venice – face a “moderate health risk” due to hydrocarbon fumes. In Terrebonne Parish, residents of the town of Cocodrie and the surrounding area are also reporting strong odors of petroleum.

For months since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well blew, residents along the Gulf Coast, including many in New Orleans and other metro regions miles away from the shore, have said they smell fumes from the oil spill. Some have reported symptoms ranging from red eyes and runny noses to sinus infections and flu-like symptoms.

Researchers at Tulane University and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade – an environmental non-profit started after Katrina – soon will release air quality findings based on their independent research and analysis of data provided by the EPA and state monitoring agencies. At the University of New Orleans, Dr. Bhaskar Kura is completing a separate analysis which he will present the week of July 26.

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This article was posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 at 4:20 am

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