ATLANTA —An Exposure Investigation among residents of two Corpus Christi neighborhoods found concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in personal air and blood samples were not higher than those found in a national survey of United States residents. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted the investigation. ATSDR worked with community members to recruit 90 participants who provided information about their daily activities as well as blood, urine, and personal air samples.
ATSDR measured community exposure to benzene and other petroleum-related VOCs in Dona Park and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Overall, VOC levels in blood and personal air samples were not higher than levels in samples from a national survey. A few personal air samples had high VOC levels that may have resulted from participants’ direct contact with consumer products such as fuel, which contain high levels of VOCs. Exposure Investigation participants who smoked had higher blood concentrations of VOCs than non-smokers. Tobacco smoking is a significant source of exposure to VOCs among US residents.
ATSDR and CDC have high confidence in the overall results of the Exposure Investigation; however, the agency cautions that the findings are specific to the time frame of this investigation and the locations where the sampling was conducted. This investigation does not provide information about past or future exposures. ATSDR is conducting a Public Health Assessment to look at possible effects from short and long-term exposures to benzene and other air contaminants.
To read the Exposure Investigation report, visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/pha/HCPHA.asp?State=TX
Copies of the report are also available at
La Retama Library
805 Comanche St.
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
North West Library
3202 Mckinzie Rd.
Corpus Christi, Texas 78410
Oveal Williams Senior Center
1414 Martin Luther King
Corpus Christi, TX 78407 Phone: (361) 887-7633.
ATSDR and CDC representatives will be available to discuss the Exposure Investigation report and other refinery row health assessment activities at a meeting 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 27th, 2011.
ATSDR also invites citizens of Corpus Christi to attend a workshop about the Exposure Investigation process and how to prevent chemical exposures. This workshop will be 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 13, 2011. The workshop is free, but space is limited. Attendees will be admitted as long as space allows. Interested persons may pre-register for the workshop by contacting Donna Chaney toll-free at (866) 336-9176 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshop and the meeting will be held at the Oveal Williams Senior Center, 1414 Martin Luther King Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78401, phone (361) 887-7633.
Members of the news media can request an interview with ATSDR staff by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at (770) 488-0700.