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Oil sludge dumped on the shoreline blamed for high level of toxins

September 18, 2006

By Maricar M. Calubiran

STOCKPILES of collected oil sludge and debris dumped along the affected barangays in Nueva Valencia and Sibunag, which are yet to be barged out by Petron Corp., are blamed for the high level of toxins which caused respiratory illnesses among the residents.

A physician who asked not to be named said for as long as the collected oil sludge remain on the shore it will pose danger to the health of the residents and to the environment. The government seems to be haphazard in how to deal with, and when to dispose the collected oil sludge, the physician observed.

The same source said Petron and the government should act as soon as possible so that the level of toxins would go down. Residents are exposed to hydrogen sulfide and aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene and toluene.

Recently, the Department of Health (DOH) traced that some of the affected barangays especially in Sitio Naoway, Nueva Valencia yielded 6.8 parts per million (ppm) hydrogen sulfide. The level of hydrogen sulfide is way above the normal level set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau and the United States of America Environmental Agency.

(For the full story, click The News Today, Sept. 18, 2006.)

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