The Aliso Viejo gas leak that blew more than two years ago in Porter Ranch had lasting effects on nearby residents and now one Porter Ranch physician wants to examine levels of benzene in their blood.
The 2015 gas leak spewed about 100,000 metric tons of methane into the air and covered nearby communities in a rotten-egg odor for months.
Dr. Jeffrey Nordella discussed his plans to measure the levels of the cancer-causing chemical that can be found in natural gas, in the residents' blood with community members Wednesday.
Nordella says some of the residents experienced symptoms that "don't fit in one diagnosis, including vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue."
However SoCal Gas spokeswoman Christine Detz said,
“During the leak and for months afterwards, thousands of air, soil, and dust samples were tested by multiple public health agencies, including the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Air Resources Board, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, all of the data collected and analyzed by public health officials have shown that there was and is no long-term risk to public health or safety from the gas leak.”
Nordella aims to draw the blood of about 1,000 people during his testing, residents from communities outside of Porter Ranch are also welcome to take part in the study.
The residents could be re-screened every six months for a three years minimum extending to five years, depending on the results.
“The county is exploring every possible avenue to fund this study to effectively address the health concerns and needs of the communities,” the The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Nordella is fighting to give answers to the residents who have questions about all the health risks,
“The apathy is high,” he said. “We got to get rid of it. If you want to have answers, we will get them to you.”
Listen to Dr. Nordella's interview with John and Ken below.
Photo: Getty Images