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EPA Details Components of Oil that Spilled in Mayflower

The Environmental Protection Agency has released documents from ExxonMobil detailing the components of the heavy crude oil that spilled into parts of Mayflower two weeks ago.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Environmental Protection Agency has released documents from ExxonMobil detailing the components of the heavy crude oil that spilled into parts of Mayflower two weeks ago.

Exxon says it labels the oil as "Wabasca Heavy Crude" and acknowledges it's commonly referred to as bitumen in Canada.   In the paperwork, the EPA asks Exxon if it can be considered "tar sands oil."  Exxon responds by saying there are various uses and understandings of the term rather than acknowledging or denying the question.

When asked what environmental and ecological impacts the oil may have on the area, Exxon replies by saying it's unaware of any impacts outside of what the Unified Command has already been dealing with.

The EPA also requested the results of any oil samples taken from the scene of the spill.  Exxon notes no testing has been done on any oil removed from the area.

In the paperwork provided to the EPA, Exxon says the oil that spilled into the neighborhood is comprised of crude oil, hydrocarbon diluent, benzene, and hydrogen sulphide.

When it comes to safety and health hazards, the paperwork says casual exposure may "cause irritation of eyes, nose and throat, dizziness and drowsiness. Contact with skin may cause irritation and possibly dermatitis. Contact of liquid with eyes may cause severe irritation/burns."

Long-term exposure outlines more significant health hazards: "due to presence of benzene, long term exposure may increase the risk of anemia and leukemia. Repeated skin contact may increase the risk of skin cancer."

The paperwork also notes possible impacts in the categories of carcinogenicity,reproductive effects, teratogenicity and mutagenicity.


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