Letter: 5.3 ppb of benzene is a big deal
Arsenic, like benzene, is a natural substance found in water and food. Nonetheless it poisons people even in small amounts.
In groundwater, over time, .17 ppb of arsenic may prove fatal. I’d prefer to avoid both arsenic and benzene in my drinking water. I would not trust an individual with such a cavalier attitude regarding chemicals to assure me of the safety of anything simply because they cannot grasp that a small amount of it can be deadly.
Our hearts are broken when a horrific tangible act of terrorism occurs, but we shrug off corporate terrorism as illustrated by the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, blowing up.
This plant, owned by Adair Grain, was storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate (1,350 times the amount required to trigger oversight, but Grain had not reported it). The plant had violated at least six different federal and state regulations over the past decade and OSHA hadn’t inspected it since 1985. This is standard operating procedure. Many lives were lost because of indifference.
So yes, 5.3 ppb of benzene is a big deal.
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