"Smoke From Wisconsin Refinery Explosion Poses Health Risk"

"An explosion and asphalt fire at a Wisconsin oil refinery sent huge plumes of smoke into the air that pollution experts said almost certainly contained large amounts of toxins, posing a serious health risk to those living downwind.

Asphalt is a petroleum product that when burned emits chemicals in gaseous form and small particles that can linger long after the smoke dissipates, said Wilma Subra, a chemist with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network who has examined past refinery accidents.

The gases include so-called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which can cause symptoms ranging from dizziness, breathing problems and nausea to liver damage and cancer, depending on the level and length of exposure, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Matthew Brown reports for the Associated Press April 27, 2018.

Source: AP, 04/27/2018