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New Research Conducted by University Cancer Centers Links BP Refinery Incident to Increase Occurrence of Cancer in Texas City
Date:2/15/2013

HOUSTON, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The University Cancer Centers' pilot study demonstrated that benzene exposure has significant health risks, specifically, altering the blood cells and liver enzymes. This indicates the Texas City subjects exposed to benzene are at higher risk of developing hepatic or blood related cancer due to the inflammatory response it may produce in the bone marrow, which may be cytokine mediated or acute chemical hepatic toxicity.

The purpose of this study was to assess a cohort of subjects who underwent clinical evaluation, specifically, in relation to array of clinical findings characteristic of ambient exposure to benzene at the University Cancer Centers. In particular, the clinical findings of the subjects exposed to benzene evaluated and compared to the cohort of subjects who were not exposed to benzene.

In 2010, British petroleum (BP) refinery spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies of Texas city, Texas. Specifically, the release from the BP facility began April 6 and lasted 40 days due to a problem with a compressor on the refinery's ultracracker unit resulted in increased flaring as the unit continued to operate.

The scope of the problem was realized only after analyzing data from a monitor that measures emissions from a flare 300 feet above the ground that was supposed to incinerate the toxic chemicals. It is estimated that more than 500,000 pounds of chemicals, including benzene and carbon monoxide escaped from the refinery while it was replacing the equipment and contaminated the air surrounding the refinery.

A total of 200 subjects (benzene exposed, n=100 and non-exposed, n= 100) were included in this analysis. The mean age of subjects was 32.6 and 50.3 years in the exposed and non-exposed groups, respect
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