WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Hurricane Harvey caused the release of nearly 1 million pounds of seven deadly air pollutants from refineries in the US state of Texas, an environmental advocacy group warned in a statement.
"Refineries and petrochemical plants in south Texas released nearly 1 million pounds of seven especially dangerous air pollutants during flaring and chemical spills triggered by Hurricane Harvey, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of industry data," the Center for Biological Diversity said in the statement on Friday.
The contaminants include benzene, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, toluene and xylene, it said, adding that these chemicals can harm human health and cause cancer.
The Center for Biological Diversity based its analysis on initial industry reports to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and warned that the numbers were expected to grow.
Hurricane Harvey struck Texas on August 25 as a Category 4 storm and has made landfall two more times since then as a tropical storm.
Harvey has dumped record levels of rain on southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas, including Houston, and has killed up to 47 people, according to US media reports.