Four out of twelve Gulf Coast residents who had blood samples collected by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) following the Gulf oil spill have been found to have exceptionally high levels of benzene in their bodies. LEAN tested blood samples from crabbers, cleanup workers, and people who lived along the coast.
All four of the people will the high levels of benzene were crabbers, including a 10-year-old child who is now suffering severe respiratory problems. Their benzene levels ranged from 11.9 to 35.8 times higher than the 95th percentile value of 0.25 parts per billion from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Among the health problems caused by benzene are leukemia, anemia, ovarian shrinkage, and irregular menstrual periods.
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