Articles Tagged with volatile organic compounds

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Incense is chic again.

You have only to see all the photos of burning incense and crystals on Instagram to know that young people are following this trend. Some companies are even marketing incense as being good for your health. And while it’s true that burning incense can make your house or office smell like a calming spa; is it really a good idea? Not necessarily according to researchers.

Recent studies published in the journal Nature have revealed some surprising health risks linked to burning incense indoors which may make you reconsider using incense to create a calming, patchouli-scented environment. Here are some of the harmful health effects linked to incense burning:

ford-2691853_1920-1-300x209Recent news reports have revealed that a benzene leak at Ford’s Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan has contaminated the sewers in a 4-square-mile—and possibly larger—area of the city. As a result of the benzene leak, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is recommending that residents who live in the area bounded by I-75 to the east, Gibraltar Road to the north, Cahill Road to the west, and Woodruff Road south, evacuate until further notice. Initially, 10 homes and one school were evacuated, but now, because it is unclear which homes may be at risk, the MDHHS is recommending that the entire neighborhood evacuate.

Why Should Residents Evacuate?

Residents may be at risk of exposure to high levels of benzene, a volatile organic compound (VOC), which can be harmful to human health. Measurements of air in buildings and sewer lines have shown that VOC levels exceed health-protective and explosive levels.

The Pollution Lawyers recently received final court approval of an $8.1 million settlement of one of its environmental contamination cases. In late 2008, families in the small town of Attica, Indiana learned that toxic chemical vapors were entering the air inside their homes.  After getting the bad news, these families turned to The Pollution Lawyers for help.  Our class-action lawsuit, filed against Kraft Foods Global, Inc. alleged that the volatile organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride (VC) dumped at a manufacturing plant owned by Kraft seeped into the groundwater and traveled underneath over one-hundred nearby homes.  Once underneath these homes, the chemicals worked their way into the indoor air.  This process is commonly known as vapor intrusion.  Our lawsuit sought recovery for the damage caused to our clients’ property. After two years of litigation, The Pollution Lawyers secured a settlement for our clients that was greater than the assessed value of all the properties in the class.  In addition to the monetary compensation, Kraft has contractually agreed to remediate the groundwater and indoor air contamination.  For more information on our settlement see the following media links:  press release, news video, and newspaper article.

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