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Cancer, leukemia possible long-term effects of oil spill

September 12, 2006

THE chief of the National Poison Management & Control Center on Tuesday warned that exposure to bunker oil may result in cancer, leukemia and congenital anomalies of unborn babies in the long-term.

The warning was aired by Dr. Lynn Panganiban, head of the center at the University of the Philippines in Manila, who added that short-term effects of exposure to bunker fuel may result in respiratory and skin ailments.

“In two to three years, different types of cancer can happen,” she explained adding that bunker oil contains many harmful chemicals.

She said doctors would like to study the effects of the oil spill and come out with their findings “as soon as possible” as she expressed willingness to provide a copy of the study to the people of Guimaras who may use this as an evidence in their class suit against Petron.

In the same interview, she admitted that studying the health effects of the oil spill in Guimaras island poses a big challenge for Filipino toxicologists since there is little study on the health hazards of bunker oil exposure among communities.

(For the full story, click Cancer, leukemia, Sept. 12, 2006.)

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