Residents Are Still Getting Sick Weeks After LA Gas Leak Was Sealed

Posted by K R on

Hey, remember that huge natural gas disaster near Los Angeles that state officials declared completely over on February 18th? It’s not over for the residents of Porter Ranch, many of whom have filed complaints with the LA Department of Public Health since returning to their homes two weeks ago. From October 28th to February 18th, the DPH received roughly 700 health complaints related to the natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon, which became the largest such disaster in US history. When Gizmodo spoke with the DPH in December, a toxicology expert explained that the symptoms people were reporting—including dizziness, nausea, headaches, and nosebleeds—were the result of acute exposure to mercaptans: acrid, sulfurous compounds that are added to natural gas precisely so that leaks can be detected. “This presents a unique public health challenge, as the cause of the reported post-sealing symptoms is unclear” The air at Porter Ranch was so foul that SoCalGas, the company responsible for the leaky well, was forced to relocate some 4,400 residents over a period of three months. Now that the leak is plugged, many of those residents have moved back. But to the DPH’s surprise, the illness reports continue to roll in. In fact, since February 18th, Porter Ranch residents have filed an additional 150 health complaints. Read More: Gizmodo

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