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Ont. First Nation calls for chemical plant to be shut down amid dangerously high benzene levels [Video]

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First Nations News

Dangerously high levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene have left residents of a First Nation near Sarnia, Ont., sickened and hospitalized.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation, with an on-reserve population of 900, located along the Michigan border, issued an urgent statement Tuesday that called on the federal and provincial governments to shut down INEOS Styrolution facility, the chemical manufacturer, which the First Nation alleges is the source of the chemical leak.

Benzene levels detected in the area reached as high as 115 micrograms per cubic metre on April 16, according to data from the Clean Air Sarnia Area (CASA) website. Prevailing wind direction indicates the benzene emissions apparently came from INEOS’s tanks.

The annual standard set by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment for benzene is 0.45 micrograms per cubic metre.

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“The cause of these symptoms is directly related to the continuing and excessive levels of benzene emissions coming from the INEOS facility located directly across from the Band office, environmental …

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