Black Oil, Red Blood Now Available. Proceeds to Benefit Oil Spill Victims.
BLACK OIL, RED BLOOD is now available in print and for Kindle. Other e-book formats will be available shortly. I used to work for a law firm that sued Big Oil for exposing its employees to carcinogens like benzene and other hydrocarbons. Many of the firm's clients were sick and dying. Others had already passed, leaving their spouses to bring wrongful death claims. My work for this firm inspired the story. Conventional wisdom says nobody knows what causes cancer, but don't you believe it. The fact is, our government knows for sure that certain substances do cause certain types of cancer. In fact, the EPA labels these substances as "carcinogens" and assigns them to a certain "class." Benzene, one of the components of crude oil and gasoline, is a "Class A Carcinogen," which means we know it causes cancer, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Benzene is so toxic that if you filled up one measuring cup and let it evaporate in a football stadium, ambient air levels would still be 3.3 times higher than the OSHA safe-air standard, and 6.6 times the NIOSH standard. Think about that for a minute. A single cup of benzene is enough to expose everyone in a football stadium to air that is six times more toxic than the legal limit. But a cup of benzene is nothing. Benzene is everywhere. This stuff is a natural part of crude oil and gasoline, and it’s also found in all oil refinery waste products, which are rarely disposed of properly. Benzene makes up 1% of crude oil and accounts for up to 5% of gasoline vapors, which means you can also essentially poison everybody who is sitting in a football field with only six gallons of unsealed crude oil, or one and a half gallons of an uncorked bottle of gasoline. And yet, Corpus Christi, the U.S. City with more oil refineries than any other city except for Los Angeles, dumped seventy tons of benzene in 2007 alone. Now, think about the BP oil spill clean-up workers. If one gallon of crude oil results in air concentration exposures three times higher than the OSHA safe limit, imagine what floating around in hundreds of millions of gallons of the stuff would do to you? It's no wonder oil spill workers and Gulf Coast residents are sick.I'm thrilled to announce that the legal thriller