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ATSDR Press Room

Final Health Consultation on Exposure to Contaminants in the Air at Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery site in Shreveport, La.

Caddo County, Shreveport, Louisiana

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today is issuing the final version of its public health consultation on the Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery, aka Atlas Processing Co., site in Shreveport, La. This version includes ATSDR's responses to comments received on the public comment version of the document, which was available to the public from Aug. 19 through Oct. 6, 2003.

The health consultation analyzes the available data for exposure via the air pathway to contaminants including hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The two primary findings for the air pathway are that the levels of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide are no apparent public health hazard, and the data for VOCs show that they are categorized as an indeterminate public health hazard.

In the health consultation, ATSDR concludes the following:

  • Exposure to VOCs is an indeterminate public health hazard because the levels of VOCs and other gasoline compounds detected by air sampling do not sufficiently represent the community's exposure to these chemicals.
  • Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide levels detected by an air monitor from November 2002 to March 2003 are not of health concern.
  • Air modeling of accidental releases of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide shows the levels could exceed health-based screening values.
  • There is not enough information to determine if the community's exposure to soil and surface water is of health concern.

ATSDR recommends the following actions:

  • Conduct long-term air sampling for VOCs that measures low-level exposures, such as daily or weekly averages, as well as peak exposures.
  • Continue to monitor for hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.
  • Compare the current level of emissions at the Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery site, particularly any nonroutine chemical releases, with the modeled concentrations to determine potential health effects on the community.
  • Consider taking a representative number of soil samples in the community to identify potential soil contamination by chemicals from air deposits or stormwater runoff.
  • Collect more information to determine if there is a completed exposure pathway for surface water (Brushy Bayou).

Copies of the final version of the health consultation will be available at the following Shreveport repositories:

City of Shreveport
Government Plaza
505 Travis St., Suite 580

Shreve Memorial Library
Atkins Branch
2709 Hassett Ave.

Shreve Memorial Library
Extension Center
5802 Union Ave.

For more information, community members can contact Environmental Health Scientist Jennifer Freed or Community Involvement Specialist Dawn O'Connor, toll-free, at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Jennifer Lyke also may be contacted at 214-665-8362. Callers should refer to the Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery site in Shreveport, La.

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Related News Releases For Caddo County, Shreveport, Louisiana


Air Sampling Recommended at Pennzoil-Calumet Refinery in Shreveport, La
Release Date: Wednesday, September 03, 2003
A public health consultation on the Calumet Lubricants/Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery Site in Shreveport, La., recommends more air sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). ATSDR finds the community's exposure to VOCs is an indeterminate public health hazard. The document is available for public review and comment at local repositories from Sept. 3 through Oct. 6.

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