'Green Gasoline' Benzene Leukemia Risk In Children Confirmed
A recent French study reports that children living within reach of either a gas station or a car repair shop have a fourfold risk of developing leukemia.
The study confirms the warnings given by German heart specialist Hans Nieper who investigated the health effects of two substances employed in the automotive industry since the 1980s. In fact when lead was shown to be toxic, it was eliminated from gasoline and was replaced by benzene, to keep the liquid within correct burning parameters for existing motors. At around the same time, catalytic converters were introduced as a solution to reduce toxic exhaust gases.
Nieper had warned that the platinum in catalytic converters gets airborne in small but significant quantities and that these aerosol platinum compounds may cause lung cancer and manifestations of chronic fatigue.
Benzene, which was introduced at the time lead was removed from fuel, is another toxic substance that may, according to Hans Nieper, cause cancer.
Now the warning on benzene has been confirmed as accurate by the French study. After decades it thus turns out that our "solution" to toxic lead in gasoline which introduced so-called "green" fuel and catalytic converters may be no less toxic than the problem it was meant to eliminate.
Benzene forms dioxin - Why Is Dioxin So Dangerous?
Leukaemia link to petrol stations
Aug 19 2004
Living near a petrol station or commercial garage may quadruple the risk of childhood leukaemia.
The study in France found a link between cases of acute leukaemia among youngsters and how close they lived to a petrol station or a garage carrying out car repairs.
Past research has shown an association between occupational exposure to benzene - a cancer-causing hydrocarbon derived from petrol - and leukaemia in adults.
The latest study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, suggests a similar link among youngsters living near benzene-emitting sources like garage and petrol stations.
The researchers, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, based their findings on 280 cases of childhood leukaemia and a comparison group of 285 children.
The children were drawn from four hospitals in Nancy, Lille, Lyon and Paris in France, with almost two-thirds (60%) of the children with leukaemia aged between two and six years old.
The team found no clear link between the mother's occupation during pregnancy or levels of traffic around where they lived and the risk of the child developing leukaemia.
They also saw no link between leukaemia and living near businesses such as those dealing with aluminium, plastic, wood, metalwork, printing works and ceramics.
But a child whose home was near a petrol station or garage was four times more likely to develop leukaemia as a child whose home was not close to such a business.
The researchers said the risk appeared to be even greater for acute non-lymphoblastic leukaemia, which was seven times more common among children living close to a petrol station or garage. They also said that the longer a child had lived close to a petrol station or garage, the higher their risk of leukaemia appeared to be.
See also related:
Unleaded petrol: have we been told the full story?
The non-lead ingredients added to petrol to stop pinging and maintain octane ratings are known as aromatics. They are from a category of organic substance known as VOCs -- volatile organic compounds. These include benzene, toluene (methyl-benzene), dimethylbenzene, xylene and mesitylene (1,3,5 triethyl-benzene). All are petroleum derivatives. Some are toxic, others are extremely toxic.
Benzene has been linked to cancer and leukaemia in numbers of studies. As long ago as 1977, the Italian Ramazzini Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Science established that benzene was a powerful carcinogen. It also found subsequently that all aromatic hydrocarbons in fuel cause increases in malignant tumours in animals.
Professor Cesare Maltoni and Morando Soffritti have conducted tests on exposure to all fuel additives. In August 1994 Maltoni addressed the Clean Air Conference run by the CSIRO in Sydney. He presented evidence that benzene is one of the most dangerous industrial carcinogens known. He stated that the risks from benzene and other aromatics have been seriously understated in view of the scale of motor vehicle pollution.
Benzene Exposure Linked To Blood Changes
December 03, 2004 - A new study shows that exposure to benzene, even at low levels, significantly lowers blood cell counts.
Benzene exposure linked to blood changes
Blood changes, including a steep decline in disease-fighting white cells, have been found in workers persistently exposed to low levels of benzene, a common industrial chemical known to pose a leukemia risk at high concentrations.
Pollutant 'damages bone marrow'
Exposure to even small amounts of the chemical benzene may pose a health risk, say scientists.
Benzene more dangerous than you think - study
December 03 2004 - Washington
Even "safe" levels of benzene damage immune system cells and could lead to cancer or other problems, United States and Chinese researchers reported on Thursday.
Air pollution causes early deaths
Air pollution is responsible for 310,000 premature deaths in Europe each year, research suggests. A study by the European Commission calculated that air pollution reduces life expectancy by an average of almost nine months across the European Union.
Concerned that research linking benzene to cancer could lead to expensive and strict controls on the petroleum industry, five major oil companies are funding a multimillion-dollar study to counter the findings. The study, launched in 2001 in Shanghai, China, with as much as $27 million from BP, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell Chemical, will analyze benzene's effects on the blood and bone marrow, and its ability to cause cancer in workers. The research is expected to be completed in 2007, according to the American Petroleum Institute, which is overseeing the funding group. But in depositions, proposals to oil companies and other documents collected by a Houston law firm in unrelated lawsuits and provided to the Chronicle, the results of the study already have been predicted.
Benzene: The Health Dangers of this Chemical Used in Juices, Soft Drinks & Much More
Benzene, a cancer-causing chemical found in gasoline, smog and cigarette smoke, can form in soft drinks that contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and the preservative sodium benzoate.
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday August 19 2004
updated on Sunday November 21 2010
URL of this article:
Biodiesel Not Sustainable: Will Starve The Poor
The Guardian has published an article by Georges Monbiot which discusses the implications of widespread use of "biofuels", as advocated by several environmentalists. Biofuels are fuels grown as agricultural crops such as rape, soy, oilpalms, sunflowers or peanuts. In his article, titled "Feeding Cars, Not People", Monbiot predicts that the use of agriculture for fuel production will have a disastrous impact on the food supply for the people of this... [read more]
November 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Enzyme Related Toxic Overdose
More than 200 diseases have been linked to pollution by a recent study, according to an article published in The Independent. Although it has been known for some time that increased cancer incidence is linked to pollution, it is seldom we see an open acknowledgement in the mainstream press that we are actively poisoning ourselves with chemicals and other pollutants released freely into the environment. Those substances are so ubiquitous... [read more]
November 16, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Honolulu Bans Water Fluoridation
February 12, 2004 - The mayor of Honolulu enacted a local ruling designed to protect the water supply of Honolulu and Oahu island from contamination. Fluoridation is the target of the ruling, which specifies no substance to treat humans instead of the water will be allowed to be added to the water. A safeguard against "orders from above" is also built in: the ordinance requires that any chemical additive to... [read more]
March 15, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Toxic Teflon Frying Pans
The Fumes from non-stick frying pans lined with fluorine compounds such as Teflon, can be deadly to birds. We don't seem to understand that warning sign very well, although Canaries have for a long time been used to warn miners of deadly gases in the 'underworld'. A recent report available on the site of the Environmental Working Group accuses Du Pont, maker of Teflon non-stick material used in frying pans... [read more]
January 31, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Cancer - Are Chemicals To Blame?
Cancer may be largely to blame on man made chemicals in our environment, rather than on smoking and diet, the factors that are emphasized by medical experts. The article reporting the Canadian study was printed in the Penticton Herald, a relatively obscure paper and I haven't seen it taken up by other press outlets so far. A separate study of scientists from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine blames... [read more]
March 11, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger