Benzene And Hydrogen Sulfide: The Real Dangers From The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill?

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While most of the attention so far has been on the millions of gallons of oil that have escaped from the damaged BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico, many environmentalists are now wondering if the real danger to humans from this whole crisis may be the massive amounts of benzene and hydrogen sulfide that are escaping into the air.  Hydrogen sulfide is a chemical asphyxiant, similar to carbon monoxide and cyanide gases.  It causes “biochemical suffocation” by inhibiting cellular respiration and the uptake of oxygen.  Benzene is a highly carcinogenic gas that can cause death if inhaled at high enough concentrations.  Not only that, benzene has been shown to cause leukemia in all its forms.  High levels of both gases have been detected at testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, it is being reported that many fishermen in the Gulf that have been assisting with cleanup efforts have been getting seriously ill from breathing that air.  There have been reports of symptoms including headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, coughing, sore throats, and stuffy sinuses.  So as this oil spill continues and even more of these gases are released, are people across the southeast United States about to start breathing air that is filled with highly toxic gases?  Are we about to see the American Dream turned into a total nightmare for tens of millions of Americans?  What some scientists are now telling us about the release of these gases is truly frightening.


At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion (over 3 parts per million).  The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set a maximum workplace exposure limit of 1 part of benzene per million parts of air during an 8 hour workday.  So already some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico have detected levels of benzene that are three times higher than what the OSHA considers to be safe.

Not only that, but WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that hydrogen sulfide has been detected in the Gulf of Mexico at levels as high as 1,192 parts per billion.  The concentration threshold at which humans begin to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion.

Needless to say, this is beyond alarming.

On May 14th, WWLTV in New Orleans ran the following video report on the levels of hydrogen sulfide and benzene in the air at that time….

So what kind of damage can breathing these two chemicals do?

Let’s break them down one at a time.


Breathing high levels of Benzene can cause the following….



*Rapid Heart Rate




*Death (at very high concentrations)

Long-term exposure to Benzene can do a ton of damage to the human body.  Benzene actually enters cells and damages DNA material.  In addition, benzene is known to cause harmful effects on bone marrow and it can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia.

For women, long-term exposure to benzene can result in irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries.

In addition, as mentioned previously, benzene is a known cancer-causing agent.  In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services tells us that exposure to benzene is known to cause leukemia.

Hydrogen Sulfide

Breathing high levels of hydrogren sulfide can cause the following….

*Eye irritation

*Respiratory irritation





*Breathing Difficulties

*Fluid In The Lungs




*Death (at very high concentrations)

Hydrogen sulfide is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body at the same time.  As mentioned previously, hydrogen sulfide is a chemical asphyxiant.  It is similar to carbon monoxide and cyanide gases.  It can be extremely deadly at high concentrations.

So if the levels of these two gases continue to climb, will some areas along the Gulf coast need to be evacuated?

That is a legitimate question.

Right now this is a development that needs to be very closely watched, but so far the mainstream media does not seem that alarmed by the buildup of these gases.

Just as the authorities insisted that the air was safe to breathe at ground zero after 9/11 (but were proven horribly wrong later), they are also promising that the air in the Gulf of Mexico is safe to breathe now.

But if you live in that region you are going to need to do your own research.  BP does not care about you and they are not going to let you know if the air is a health danger to you and your family.  Do not just blindly rely on what the “authorities” tell you to do.  If things continue to get worse with these gases, you are going to have to make your own decision about whether or not it is best to get away from the coast for a while.

Benzene and hydrogen sulfide are nothing to scoff at.  Both gases can have very serious health effects.  If any of you out there have any additional information on these matters, please let us know and we will do our best to get it out to our readers.

CHG Partners

  • justmeint

    This entire toxic scenario is frightening……
    Did You Know?
    BP engineers alerted federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service that they were having difficulty controlling the Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon) six weeks before the disaster, according to e- mails released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    “I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” Tom Bower, author of “The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century,” said in a June 11 Bloomberg Television interview. “They’d be much more careful and much more conscious of the need to supervise subcontractors.”

    WELL excuse me your sainted Exxon……. and Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

    Let’s just take a look at a few of your past misdemeanours, and then we can consider again – if the moratorium on deepwater drilling should be lifted, and place it all firmly back into your nice clean hands!

  • Greg

    There is so much disinformation that for most people it will be impossible to see what is happening and why it is happening. None of this is an accident. Everything happening, including the complete destruction of our economy and sovereignty, are all planned. Look at the UN biodiversity map and you will see you are not welcome in this nation – it has been set aside for nature and you don’t qualify. Look at how the national monuments and the “natural” disasters are making the population desert the areas that the UN stated were not for humans. Look at the Georgia Guidestones and the quotes of numerous Satanically-inspired people with money, influence and power who have stated their commitment to reduce human population to less than 1 billion. Look at the detention camps in America, e.g. the $400 million contract KBR was awarded less than 5 years ago to build more of those camps in America. Look at the environmental movement along with the EPA and the celebration of Lenin’s birthday (Earth Day) and see how that insanity is not really so insane when viewed in light of removing people.

    After you educate yourself, prepare yourself. You are not going to change the direction that this nation is headed because it was planned hundreds of years ago and is being carried out by people with the means and the power to make it happen. All the preparation in the world may not prevent you from being a part of the planned population reduction. It would be wise to look at the Bible and see what God has to say about sparing yourself from a worse fate than this nation will undergo.

  • Robert

    Just a minor quibble. Benzene is not a gas. It is a volatile organic liquid boiling at 80.1 deg C. (Boiling point of water is 100 deg C and the freezing point of water is 100 deg C for those not exposed to the Celsius system.)

    It is very volatile and easily converts to vapor (a gaseous state) at room temperature and vapor.

    It is indeed a very toxic substance and I warned about the danger early into the spill on TAD.

  • Robert

    Sorry, freezing point of water is 0 deg Celcius (It is 2 am here)

  • Lemming


    If you are all knowing, then why hasn’t the black helicopters landed in your parents’ backyard and taken you out of their basement yet?

  • Lucia


    A LOT of people agree with you. But greatfully Rev 11:18 is true….”bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”

  • Greg

    Knowing and sharing the truth about certain events does not make a person all-knowing, just as Robert and justmeint don’t claim to be “all-knowing” when they disseminate certain truths of which they are aware. When people talk about problems and solutions without recognizing the root of the problem then they will not accomplish anything. America is not going through this upheaval and turmoil on all fronts because we just stumbled into the mess. The downfall of this nation is serving a planned purpose. America will eventually experience God’s total and final judgment as foretold in Revelation 18. For the present, we are experiencing what has been planned by misguided men centuries ago. Study to show thyself approved and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  • Debra Turner

    I live in Gretna, La just a little past the Huey P Long bridge. I have had headaches for several days now. I am also having trouble breathing like i am having a asthma episode. I don’t even have asthma. If it gets any worse i am going to the hospital.

    All i can say is someone needs to look into this seriously, The air smells like burning crayons (that is the best way to explain it). It has smelled like this for several days now

    Someone help us! They are trying to kill everyone!

  • krn

    Debra, what part of the gulf are you in? Some people can smell fumes as far as north Pensacola – course, the sound, bay, gulf is all around. But, just curious cause your burning crayon description made me wonder :) Take care. Use a humidifier inside and keep the a/c on recirculate. :)

  • Michelle

    I live in Mississippi and it smells heavily of bug spray-like mixed with high petroleum-like gases, no effects yet, personally. But agree with the benzene effects. Took Microbiology in college and they teach you that some of these are carcogenic (cancer causing) agents. I also agree with Greg.

  • Alex

    Im sick to. I think once again our coorperations have commited treason. I mean really we just gave them 800 billion, approved in 4 days by our bought congress. I guess the only true democracy in this world is in Greece.

  • Colleen Jeffries


  • Jennifer

  • selina

    i too have been smelling burnt crayons for about 2 months, off and on- i would say at least 4 times. maybe when its more windy outside?

    i’ve also been experiencing more headaches and heart palps. i also noticed the other day 6/12 i was in my jeep with the top down and i was getting a sore throat. i never linked it to the oil- it just now dawned on me. i thought it was strange because it went away once i left the coast. it was in the clearwater area on the main street before that water.

  • Scott

    You have confused ppm and ppb. Intentionally?

    “Not only that, but WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that hydrogen sulfide has been detected in the Gulf of Mexico at levels as high as 1,192 parts per billion. The concentration threshold at which humans begin to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion.”

    OSHA states that hydrogen sulfide symptoms begin at 5 to 10 PPM, not PPB. So your report is off by a factor of 1000. Several other web reports are making the same error. 1 ppm hydrogen sulfide concentration is about enough to faintly detect it.

  • greg molenaar

    ARTICLE: BP Death Clouds Already Onshore! Benzene-3400 ppb & Hydrogen Sulfide-1200 ppb.
    0-4 ppb is EPA “Safe”.

    BP’s Top-Kill

    Who knew when BP said, “Top Kill” ~
    alleged to plug the errant well,
    that we humans were their target too…
    a billion gallons in the brew.

    Who knew within the oil sludge,
    Was a President who would not budge…
    who would not lead his people free
    from breathing all this chemistry.

    It’s More than oil for our cars,
    More than coast line that was ours
    More than birds’ feet stuck in tars,
    It’s Korporate Kollusion.

    It’s Benzene in the air we breathe
    A President we can’t believe,
    A company bent to deceive,
    a thousand parts per illusion.

    Who’s Corporate Karma is so feeble,
    Who Carries “Top Kill” to the people?
    BP, like India’s Union Carbide
    ‘To the valley of death 10,000 ride.

    Oil disbursed or humans scattered,
    To BP all that really mattered
    Is to disburse the claims
    of all you “little people.”

    So Hayward gets a golden ‘chute
    and runs away with all his loot.

    Our president should get the boot
    from all us little people.

    — Greg Molenaar — June 2010
    New London, Minnesota


  • Chrisitne

    My husband works on a boat that is contracted to BP. There have been over 700 men on the boats and the cleanup crews on land that have been hospitalized with Benzene side effects. The hospitals are still trying to “determine” the causes.
    Also, BP hired a French company to monitor the pressure levels, ect. on the well. The company told BP that the well was not safe and they needed to stop drilling. BP refused, so the company told BP to get them off the rig. Again BP refused. The company spent their own money hiring a helicopter to get them off. Just before the well exploded the BP guys hightailed it to their helicopter.

    The well is uncontainable. Russia had the same problems we are having on some of their land drills. The only way they could contain them was to nuke them. Even then insiders inside BP feel that could only make matters worse.

    As for whether this is mans or God’s doing I believe we are seeing the birth pains Jesus told us to watch for in Matthew 24. There are just too many tornados and earthquakes, floods and flash floods. Plants dying of unknown causes, and the possibility of the biggest locus infestation in Australia and grasshoppers in our Midwest. Not to mention the threat of war and global collapse. Jesus IS coming back and he is warning us to get ready. If you are interested in seeing how the world news is connected to Revelations go to Frank Dimora’s prophecy site. He is not a prophet, be he does connect the dots. Please search your hearts don’t ignore what is going on! please

  • Pamela

    I live in Destin, FL area and I have had 2 different upper respiratory infections over the last month. I am currently experiencing the second one where my chest feels like it is being stepped on, fluid in chest, sharp cough. I have had two sets of antiobiotics, 1 full bottle of prescription cough syrup with codeine, 1 prescription of another pill form of cough suppresent and nothing is working. I also had starting last month a dry scratchy (cant ever feel relieved) dry throat.

    I went to the ER the other day to get x-rays done to see if I have pneumonia. Luckily I don’t, but the admission lady said there has been a great increase of uri and pneumonia. Research and take care of yourself and family. The government won’t tell us (they use bioweapons on our own soldiers from time to time). They don’t want us to panic. They would rather have us die off slowly.

  • GREED, Greed and gross negligence is what this is about. BP new there was explosive gas!!! 7 hrs before the rig blew. See NOLA 7 hours of missing data, yes a cover up. They had test reports of the explosive gas 7 hours before this catastrophic event. Not only has oil but Benzene, Hydrogen sulfide and Methane gas has been flowing into the Gulf. Because of the explosive gas is the reason they have been dragging their feet to kill the well. Whom would want to work/volunteer to work that rig.
    For those whom are sick ( see WWLTV click on 4), You may have what they are calling TILT or Toxic Induced Loss of Tolerance, a sickness caused from lethal gas. Gases that can cause leukemia/cancer/and death. They can test your blood for gases. Contact an attorney and your congress. Why isn’t all of the Gulf Shores air quality being tested. And if it is why are the people not be told of the hazards. BP, thats why when you commit a crime( gross negligence) against nature and humanity you want to keep your victims in the dark. And the government isn’t stepping in to assist because they know it is gross negligence.If sick, Get a good doctor and a good. attorney. And take a stand on the clean air, call your congressmen, demand air testing. YOUR LIVES may depend on it. FYI, 85% of those involved in Exxon Voldez clean up are dead now. I will being praying for all. PS My Mother, brother and sister live on the Gulf coast.

  • See link on 4 for Gulf oil full of Methane

  • James

    Million? Billion? What’s the difference?
    Gallon? Barrel? What’s the difference?
    Yesterday’s kids who grew up smoking pot, playing video games, and txt msging each other r 2day’s wannabe journalists and scientists.