Sunday, February 21, 2016

What Will Be the Health Impact of 100+ Days of Exposure to California's Methane Leak?

From:  Inside Climate News

 

With little research into the chemicals involved, scientists can't pinpoint the cause of nosebleeds in households near Aliso Canyon.
A resident living near SoCal Gas's leaking gas storage site holds a protest sign at a meeting of air quality regulators on January 20, 2016. Although the leak has been plugged for now, scientists say the long-term health risks associated with exposure to methane are unknown. Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
One big unknown clouds the aftermath of the Los Angeles County methane disaster: the health effects for thousands of people living nearby who were exposed to the gas while it leaked for three and a half months.
People from 600 households near the leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage unit reported headaches, nosebleeds, nausea and other symptoms to county officials as thousands were evacuated from their homes. It isn't known which, if any, toxic chemicals in the natural gas may have caused the symptoms, or whether there will be long-term health ramifications, according to environmental scientists.
"We're dealing with a gap in the science," said Michael Jerrett, professor and chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. "We just don't have a very good scientific understanding of what that means for long-term health effects."  MORE