Are Marathon residents going to get the actual tests they truly need to determine their exposure to the chemicals found in gasoline at this late stage? Standard blood and urine tests at this late stage (over two years since the gas leak) are not going to be sufficient testing for what needs to be determined. Because such a long time has passed, deeper biological testing is required. Tissue samples/biopsies are among the tests that will be needed for all residents concerned to test for the primary and additive chemicals in the gasoline that residents were exposed to. If these specific bio-chem tests are not done and residents do have certain illnesses, it can be argued that their illnesses may be caused by other factors not linked at all to gasoline exposure. And if they don’t have certain illnesses now and those tests have not been done, they may be led to believe they are fine and will be fine in the future. Remember, at this point, medical testing is as much about getting necessary treatment as it is about getting justice for persons exposed.
PHA officials, in recent statements, said evidence suggests that no exposure risks exist now. Don’t be slick PHA – the gas leak was over two years ago – so you cannot approach testing or only provide tests for residents as though they may have only just been exposed to gasoline for the first time within the last few days or weeks. And as for exposure “protocols” officials say they will be following, I’ve read those international protocols – they firstly include evacuation of persons from a contamination’s “hot zone” when a spill, etc occurs with immediate and follow-up medical testing thereafter. We all know that never happened, and people have been exposed to contaminated water and air since December 2012. Residents are being told that clinics will be open to assist them. Public clinics? What is supposed to be done for victims of this kind of chemical exposure over two years in, at a public clinic? If these “health screenings” are not going to include the full battery of testing required for the type of chronic, long-term chemical exposure determination needed, these screenings could very well give residents a false sense of security and in effect, will be toying with the minds and lives of residents already known to have been exposed to health-threatening chemicals.