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Sat Sep 30, 2017, 04:28 PM

Hurricane Harvey-Related Diseases Have Increased, Health Officials Warn

It's not just PR. Newsweek article.

http://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-harvey-related-diseases-have-increased-health-officials-warn-675040

Among Dr. Shah’s concerns is the recent uptick in floodwater-related illnesses such as respiratory disease, skin infections, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections.

“The [water] contains sewage. It contains runoff from who knows what,” Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine, told ABC News.


And this one from Verge: Toxic waste seeps from a Houston Superfund site after Harvey's floods: https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/29/16385568/hurricane-harvey-superfund-site-houston-dioxin-cancer-chemicals

Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented rains and flooding last month caused a leak from a heavily polluted site along the San Jacinto River east of Houston, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Some of the highly toxic chemicals found include dioxins; they’re known to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, and cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. A sediment sample at the site showed dioxins at 70,000 ng/kg — orders of magnitude higher than the recommended level at the site, which is 30 ng/kg. That’s already trouble, but it gets worse: Certain types of dioxins can be very hard to dispose of, increasing the risks of contamination. The dioxin in the Superfund site waste doesn’t dissolve easily in water, but it can seep into the surrounding sediments, the EPA says.


This is NOT the time to be playing golf or tweeting incendiary comments. This lackadaisical attitude is going to kill hundreds if not thousands of people before the year is out.

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Reply Hurricane Harvey-Related Diseases Have Increased, Health Officials Warn (Original post)
ProudLib72 Sep 2017 OP
Igel Sep 2017 #1
ProudLib72 Sep 2017 #2

Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 05:40 PM

1. Here's the source for the "theverge" rewrite.

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-statement-san-jacinto-river-waste-pits-superfund-site-data

Harvey damaged the cap. The 70000 ng/kg sample was the undisturbed sediment. If it weren't higher than the clean-up target, there'd be no cap.

Unstated is the extent to which the cap was damaged, and in what way it was damaged.

Took me a while to figure out what the EPA was even talking about. Pictures of the site helped. Apparently the waste pits are mostly containment ponds that were fenced off portions of wetlands or river. They're covered by rock and cement, but can be eroded. It's probably one of the sites that an ABC news team visited shortly after the hurricane and breathlessly asked why if they could get to it the EPA couldn't; the answer in this case is simple, they had to send divers down and the ABC team was either in a boat or in a helicopter and basically got to the space 10 or 15 feet above the actual site.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Flooding-threatens-to-release-toxins-into-the-San-12169379.php provides a bit more background.

Not much comment on the Harris County's health authority's spiffy new mobile service. Except to note that where my kid goes to school there's been an uptick in illness. No flooding for most of those kids. Newsweek often suffers from a bad case of post-hoc-ism.

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Response to Igel (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 07:27 PM

2. Thanks!

We need to be aware that there is major trouble in all areas hit by hurricanes! I don't want to downplay the significance of what is happening in PR. I just want to keep the pressure on by reminding everyone that Harvey damage did not just suddenly disappear.

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