Garden Grove, CA, March 3rd, 2016
Last month, the natural gas well blowout that caused thousands of Los Angeles families to leave their homes for months was finally sealed. The well, located in a large natural gas field used for storage, was plugged with concrete.
Families who had evacuated their homes to stay in short-term housing, rental properties or to reside with friends and family have been told they can return. Many who had previously complained of nosebleeds, headaches, nausea, dizziness and asthmatic conditions have expressed new concerns due to the potential for more leaks from the 30 to 70 year old wells.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel which contains methane, a hydrocarbon that is a highly flammable chemical compound. Natural gas is colorless and odorless in its pure form, but gas companies add a warning smell, known as mercaptans, to it to make it more easily detected if there is a leak. If a natural gas leak does occur and is severe, oxygen can be reduced causing dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headache, decreased vision and irregular breathing. Exposure to extremely high levels of natural gas can cause loss of consciousness or death.
Indicators of a natural gas leak may include:
- A rotten egg or sulfur-like smell from the mercaptans added to the natural gas, but anyone with a diminished sense of smell or odor fatigue may not notice the odor. Some environmental conditions could also cause odor fade.
- A hissing, whistling or roaring sound from a broken natural gas line or appliance.
- Signs of damage to a natural gas appliance or service line.
“People who suspect a natural gas leak should immediately evacuate the building and area without creating any type of flame, touching electrical devices, operating a vehicle or doing anything else that could cause a spark,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “The appropriate authorities should then be notified.”
Those not in an emergency or life threatening situation who suspect that natural gas, methane or other hydrocarbons could be impacting their home or work environment can turn to LA Testing for analytical services, sampling supplies and field testing instrumentation to identify these and other airborne contaminants. LA Testing also recently sponsored and educational video about natural gas and exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/-jHZwqND4SI.
To learn more about testing for natural gas, methane, hydrocarbons or other air quality, environmental, occupational, health and safety issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.