Tag: fumes

Smells like Tasman Spirit

On July 27, 2003, the oil tanker Tasman Spirit ran aground at the entrance to the port city of Karachi.  Laden with sweet crude, the vessel lay beached for two weeks before eventually breaking up and spilling 35,000 tons (10,780,000 gallons) of her cargo into the bay, from which an estimated 11,000 metric tons of toxic gasses known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) evaporated into the air.

Fumes from the volatile organic compounds and mist containing hydrocarbons, accompanied by a strong smell, dispersed into the residential area, the researchers and others said. Local hospitals reported many cases of headaches, nausea and dizziness and seventeen schools in the vicinity were closed for about a week. Local media showed pictures of piles of dead fish and turtles on the oiled beach.

The tragic incident so close to a large city provided a chance to test the effects of oil spill VOCs on densely populated areas. Immediately following the spill, researchers began to study the health impact of the noxious fumes on the city’s approximately 700,000 affected residents.  

‘Gag-inducing’ fuel smell wafting over New Orleans (updated)

New Orleans residents are understandably annoyed over their city being enveloped by the smell of fuel. Mandie Landry, an attorney who works in the city’s Central Business District, told Yahoo! News that “it smells like it’d smell if a bus was in front of you blowing out exhaust fumes right in your face.”

Another local resident, Tulane University employee Laura Mogg, told us that she caught wind of the “terrible” and “gag-inducing” smell from her office building on the school’s sprawling uptown campus. “I smelled it the second I opened the door,” she said. “Really, it’s that strong.”

How many weeks/months will people in Louisiana and other states be forced to breathe these poisonous fumes as wave upon wave of toxic sludge hits their shores?  

What kinds short and long term health problems can these millions of people expect as a result?

We have yet to even remotely grasp the ecological, human and economic damage this disaster will cause.  Indeed, the more I read the more I fear that when the final butcher’s bill is taken, Deepwater Horizon could very well rival Chernobyl on the all time list of man-made disasters.  

And the most horrible part of all?  Nobody can do a damn thing to stop it.