30 Toxic Chemicals Found at Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill Site

"An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil's Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals."

"Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.

But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.

The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.

All of these chemicals are hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), "regulated under the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act amendments as the most toxic of all known airborne chemicals," as explained in the press release summarzing the study."

Steve Horn reports for DeSmogBlog April 29, 2013.


"Exxon Proposes Compensation To Mayflower Spill Victims" (Arkansas Times)

"One Month After Exxon’s Arkansas Oil Spill, Still No Answers to Basic Questions" (InsideClimate News)

"New Mayflower Oil Spill Report Puts a Price Tag on the Cleanup" (KARK)

"Update on Mayflower Oil Spill: Chemist Finds Benzene, AG Investigates, Residents Organize" (TreeHugger)

"Head of House Committee Tours Mayflower Spill" (KARK)

"The Mayflower Oil Spill Continues To Make Headlines" (Arkansas Times)

"ExxonMobil Oil Spill in Arkansas Falls To Agency With Industry Tie" (Arkansas Times)

"Exxon Security at the Mayflower Spill" (Arkansas Times)

"Arkansas Hires Notorious Private Contractor To Clean Up Mayflower Tar Sands Spill, Same Firm Also Contracted For KXL" (DeSmogBlog)

"While Exxon Spins on Mayflower Tar Sands Spill Cleanup, Oil Threatens Fishing Lake and Arkansas River" (DeSmogBlog)

Source: DeSmogBlog, 05/02/2013