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Letter to the editor: Lynette McClain: Air quality monitoring is alarming and urgent

"he monitoring and reporting by Boulderair provides an important function for Longmont residents to monitor their local air quality," McClain said
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Haze from poor air quality obscures the mountains from view in Longmont

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On December 18, the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, toluene, ethane and ozone spiked at Cub Creek Energy Knight Pad, at Union Reservoir. The CDPHE also captured a high level of benzene on the same day.  
 
Measurements of Longmont’s air quality can be seen at bouldair.com. The website shows continuous and past toxicity levels at Union Reservoir and the Longmont Airport. The monitoring and reporting by Boulderair provides an important function for Longmont residents to monitor their local air quality.
 
Andrew Klooster, Colorado Field Advocate for Earthworks filmed chemical emissions from the Knight well pad on December 18 using an infrared thermal imaging camera. He reported that the emissions he observed on that day were some of the worst he has seen from an oil and gas facility in Colorado this year. Watch the video The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set safe limits for working men to inhale toxic chemicals such as benzene, a known carcinogen, for 15 minutes, but there are no safe standards for nearby residents and children inhaling toxic air from gas and oil development for extended periods.
 
Dr. Lisa McKenzie, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at CU has studied the health effects of gas and oil production. “Her studies investigating associations between adverse birth outcomes and childhood cancers and proximity to oil and gas development are among the first epidemiological studies on this topic to appear in the published literature. Her sentinel human health risk assessment indicated the potential for respiratory, neurological, and developmental health outcomes resulting from exposure to air pollutants emitted during natural gas development.” 
 
People living near oil wells who feel they may have been exposed to pollutants, should check report their symptoms to the CDPHE  and the Boulder County  Department of Health
 
Lynette McClain
Longmont Climate Community
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