Saturday, September 25, 2010

Allison Hendricks of TestingtheWater.org on ABC 7 Sarasota Toxic levels of crude on Siesta Key, Sarasota

Allison Hendricks of TestingtheWater.org on ABC 7 Sarasota
Toxic levels of crude on Siesta Key, Sarasota

***FROM ANITA STEWART:
Fingerprinting tests will soon be done which will confirm or not if this is the same oil from the Macondo well. TestingtheWater.org needs to raise the funds to do this. If you can help, please donate at http://www.testingthewater.org
Every little bit helps, but please give compassionately and generously!

The news story:
http://www.mysuncoast.com/Global/story.asp?S=13215804

ST. PETERSBURG - While the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is officially killed, the effects of the disaster are still on the minds of some concerned citizens who are willing to pay for their own laboratory tests to make sure the oil is not on our beaches.

Suncoast emergency management officials have said from the beginning of the oil spill that area beaches are clean and safe. But one group of citizens wanted to test the waters and beaches themselves, sending samples to a lab. The results just came back, and they say it shows toxic levels of oil found in the sand on Siesta Key.

St. Petersburg medical assistant Allison Hendricks' job is to help people. And when some of her patients, friends...even herself started to feel strange symptoms, she thought it could be coming from the water. "Nausea all the time, headaches all the time that they didn't have before, they're real tired...and I just thought it was necessary to take measures into my own hands. So I started doing my own sampling."

She became part of testingthewater.org, a site where concerned citizens are conducting their own tests all along the gulf coast. Last week Allison was out on Siesta Key taking samples when she says she spotted oil. "As soon as I walked out onto the actual beach I started crying…I saw all of what it is. And people would not know what it looks like unless you've done your research on what dispersed oil looks like."

Lab results found 173 parts per million of total petroleum hydrocarbons in the sand. "Those are not normal levels for any beach...the beaches should have been closed months ago," says Hendricks.

"That's a pretty low amount." Sarasota County Environmental Health Director Charles Henry says petroleum products are part of our everyday world, and finding some on the beach is no surprise.

But more tests have to be done to see exactly what carbons are found within that number. "We would have to explore that further and understand which particular compounds make up that TPH number to tell you whether or not there was any health concern," says Henry.

The Sarasota County Health Department has been taking samples of their own, and so far their tests have shown no sign of oil. "As we see the results we are monitoring for any concerns...and thus far we feel very confident that our waters are safe, our beaches are clean and oil free."

Tests still have to come back with a break out of all the compounds found, as well as a test to see if the oil is even linked to the BP oil well.

The Sarasota County Health Department, as well as testingthewater.org say they will continue to monitor our beaches.

The health department says they're thankful citizens are being proactive. They stress that if you do see something on the beach that you believe to be oil contact the state watch office.

For more information, visit http://www.testingthewater.org/ or http://www.scgov.net/NewsStories/news13.asp.

VIDEO:
http://www.mysuncoast.com/global/video/flash/popupplayer.asp?ClipID1=5142438&h1=Citizen%27s%20group%20say%20tests%20found%20oil%20on%20Siesta%20Key&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=179833&LaunchPageAdTag=News&activePane=info&rnd=22169559

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