Speaker: Dr. Roger Brewer
Petroleum constitutes perhaps the most common type of environmental contamination on a global scale. From small gas stations to tank farms, pipelines and large oil fields, the assessment of the risk to human health and the environment is challenging due to the complex composition of petroleum products. This presentation reviews the fate of petroleum when released to the environment and the chemistry and toxicity of petroleum-related contaminants in the air, water, and soil. The risk assessment is defined in terms of three distinct groups of compounds: (1) individually targeted and well-studied compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and naphthalene (BTEXN); (2) non-specific aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons collectively referred to as “Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH)”; and (3) degradation compounds related to BTEXN and TPH mixtures, collectively referred to as “Hydrocarbon Oxidation Products (HOPs).” Risk is most often driven by TPH and/or HOPs compounds due to their overwhelming dominance in the contaminated media. This highlights the need to test for and consider these compounds as part of a human health and ecological risk assessment.
April 1, 2022 Transcript (download here)
An extended version of this presentation--including Dr. Brewer's notes and additional thoughts--is available at the Hawai‘i Department of Health, HEER webinar webpage: https://health.hawaii.gov/heer/guidance/heer-webinars/