Living near an oil refinery may expose you to airborne chemicals and gases.

Shell Oil Co. and others have been hit with a steady stream of lawsuits claiming that benzene leaks around the oil refinery caused cancer.

The latest comes from a 28-year-old man who attended school next to the Shell Oil Co. refinery. His complaint states that he suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system (blood cancer).

He is the sixth plaintiff to file a lawsuit against the company, but the only one with non-Hodgkin’s so far – the other plaintiffs had different blood cancers.

In their complaints, the plaintiffs allege that Shell and BP Amoco knew about the dangers of benzene and publicly minimized the risks. They are each asking for damages well above $50,000.

The complaint alleges that Shell has known about the dangers of airborne benzene because of a high incidence of cancer at the Wood River Refinery in the 1970s and soil vapor intrusion studies in the 1980s.

Soil vapor intrusion describes the process of contaminants from soil or groundwater entering a home or building through cracks and fissures in the foundation.

In May 2008, the Illinois EPA cited Shell for violating the Illinois Environmental Protection Act 41 times by exceeding the standards for the release of benzene, ethyl benzene, toluene and xylene into the groundwater of Roxana, the complaint says.

Shell has filed an answer in at least one of the cases. It admits that the company has processed, handled and stored benzene. It admits that benzene has been classified as a human carcinogen “when exposed to it at significant levels over a sufficient period of time.”

However, Shell denies it caused or contributed to injuries and damages, any cover-up or negligence and that it knew of the dangers it allegedly caused. BP has filed a similar answer.

Source: The Telegraph

GAC air scrubbers can remove gaseous pollutants

Electrocorp has designed deep-bed activated carbon + HEPA air cleaners for soil vapor intrusion and environmental concerns, which can adsorb a wide range of gases and chemicals, including benzene, toluene and xylene.

The air cleaners can be equipped with custom carbon blends or impregnated carbon to increase their adsorption capacity, and they are portable and powerful enough to be used in single and multifamily dwellings.

For more information, contact Electrocorp: 1-866-667-0297.

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