In 2018 a leak at an oil refinery in Pasadena led to the release of thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants. Among the toxic pollutants included around 8,000 pounds of cancer-causing benzene.
The Pasadena refinery is one of 10 from across the United States that exceeded the EPA’s action level for benzene as of September 30. Six of the refineries with high levels of cancer-causing benzene are in Texas, and three of the refineries are in the Houston area.
Communities that face long-term exposure to benzene could see as many as four more cancers per 10,000 people, based upon estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “High levels of cancer-causing benzene found near 6 Texas refineries, report shows,” by Perla Trevizo and Jordan Blum, February 6, 2020