Al.com blogged of a recent town hall meeting about the BP Oil spill. James Durant with the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry addressed questions about the odors, saying that the smell may come from the hydrogen sulfide produced as oil breaks down in the environment. "While dangerous chemicals produced when oil breaks down, such as benzene and toluene, are harmful in concentrations of “parts per billion,” the human nose can detect the rotten egg smell of harmless hydrogen sulfide in “parts per trillion,” Durant said.
I disagree with the statement made by James Durant. While hydrogen sulfide will not cause permanent injury unless someone is exposed to it at high concentrations, the gas is not harmless. Hydrogen sulfide can cause individuals to experience physical reactions and experience transient exposure symptoms such as sore throats, coughing, itchy eyes at concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion. As we recently blogged, the EPA also disagrees with Mr. Durant.
We will be monitoring this situation closely. Todd Hageman represents hundreds of similarly situated people around the country in environmental litigation cases, including those affected by the BP Oil Spill. To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with an environmental litigation case, contact environmental lawyer Todd S. Hageman toll free or e-mail.