Sunday, January 3, 2010

ExxonMobil Adding Some Hmm? To The Benzene Symposium

A few weeks ago I blogged about reading an article that had an environmental oil & gas spokes person say something really incredulous. I also remember thinking how similar that was to what the tobacco companies had done. Didn't the tobacco industry fund their own health studies to prove that there were no ill effects from smoking? If I remember correctly the method the tobacco industry used was erroneous thus leading to provide false conclusions that smoking didn't lead to lung cancer.

Imagine my surprise then when finding out that at the 2009 Benzene Symposium, two members on the organizing committee happened to be
ExxonMobil employees from their BioMedical Division. Hmm...makes one wonder what the heck they had to say about Benzene?

The document I read was 63 pages in length, and a lot of it discussed the tests that were run and how they were conducted. I read and processed a bunch of information from it, and on page 36 I read this:

Benzene causes a spectrum of hematotoxicity ranging from reduction of peripheral blood cell counts to aplastic anemia and leukemia in humans.

I've heard about Benzene before. Isn't Benzene found in the toxic emissions of oil and gas drilling operations? And hasn't there been evidence showing that high levels of Benzene have been found in the air over the Barnett Shale? And isn't there quite of bit of oil and gas drilling going on in the Barnett Shale? Curiouser and curiouser...

Now, as I put two and two those two ExxonMobil employees at the Benzene Symposium, Michael Bird and Robert A. Schnatter,...what do ya suppose they were posing as? Concerned benefactors of society? Shocked and amazed polluters turned environmentalists? Unbiased and impartial contributors? Eh, I highly doubt it.


Anonymous said...

Benzine and another chemical called Toluene were added to gas to increase thermal output of a cc of fuel. Years ago, we used to mix them along with alcohol and various items to make our own race fuels.

From the ATSDR Website at -- Toluene may affect the nervous system. Low to moderate levles can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color vision loss. These symptoms usually disappear when exposure is stopped.

Inhaling High levels of toluene in a short time can make you feel light-headed, dizzy, or sleepy. It can also cause unconsciousness, and even death.... See More... See More

High levels of toluene may affect your kidneys.

Brad Butler

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