The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is issuing a public health consultation (PHC) for comment on the Calumet Lubricants Inc. site, formerly known as the Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery, in Shreveport, La. ATSDR recommends continued air sampling because the agency's analysis of available data finds the community's exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is an indeterminate public health hazard. Residents are concerned about the high number of diabetes
cases and upper respiratory illnesses
in the community.
Analyzing the available data led ATSDR to conclude:
- Exposure to VOCs is an indeterminate public health hazard because the levels of VOCs and other gasoline compounds detected by air sampling do not sufficiently represent the community's exposure to these chemicals.
- Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide levels detected by an air monitor from November 2002 to March 2003 are not of health concern.
- Air modeling of accidental releases of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide shows the levels could exceed health-based screening values.
- There is not enough information to determine if the community's exposure to soil and surface water is of health concern.
ATSDR recommends the following actions:
- Conduct long-term air sampling for VOCs that measures low-level exposures, such as daily or weekly averages, as well as peak exposures.
- Continue to monitor for hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.
- Compare the current level of emissions at Calumet, particularly any nonroutine chemical releases, with the modeled concentrations to determine potential health effects on the community.
- Consider taking a representative number of soil samples in the community to identify potential soil contamination by chemicals from air deposits or stormwater runoff.
- Collect more information to determine if there is a completed exposure pathway for surface water (Brushy Bayou).
The public health consultation was produced in response to a petition letter from a community member concerned about air quality in the petitioner's neighborhood. Also concerned about air quality and its potential to cause adverse health effects are members of Residents for Air Neutralization (RAN).
See your doctor if you live near the Calumet Lubricants/Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery site and you have experienced serious health problems. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Specific Contaminated Sites
- Lung & Airway Disorders