On November 21, 2011, the EPA finally released water sample test results conducted on the day of the Magnablend fire (October 3, 2011).
Magnablend continues to deny any significant amount of toxic chemicals in the air or water despite air and water quality test results that PROVE otherwise.
Magnablend wrote in a November 19, 2011 press release:
"It is important to reiterate that air and water quality monitoring, both of which started within hours of the fire, have consistently shown that there are no significant levels of toxic substances impacting the community. And while we regret the inconvenience this has caused, we are glad that this incident did not impact the health conditions of our community."
Residents in the community that have experienced health effects are now beyond fed up with Magnablend and the lack of transparency during this disaster. According to multiple media reports, Donald Golden, a Magnablend spokesman, said the company makes about 200 products, including some that are hazardous when ignited. However, Magnablend only provided the Waxahachie Fire Department with 91 chemical MSDS documents. Magnablend has yet to release information or names of the other chemicals the company used, including chemicals commonly used in the controversial hydraulic fracking process.
In addition to receiving repeated lies from Magnablend and Magnablend CEO Scott Pendery, concerned residents also feel that some local, state, and federal officials and agencies are withholding information. Residents, including some affiliated with this website, have been denied fee waivers for open records requests and have been quoted $500 and $800 from the EPA to obtain documents related to the Magnablend fire between October 3, 2011 to November 18, 2011. In addition, a resident request to add a health effect discussion agenda item to the November 28th Ellis County Commissioner's Court meeting has now been denied.
Magnablend hired a private organization to conduct water sample tests on firewater that was collected after the fire, but has not made the test results public. They have obtained a permit from the city and have begun the process of discharging the firewater. We suspect this means that the firewater will be discharged back into the environment after Magnablend has treated the water. However, with Magnablend's repeated lies and lack of transparency, do we trust that the water is safe to be discharged?
EPA Pollution Report #6 states:
Additional data collected after submittal of the polrep indicated that particulate ranges were between 3-2207ppb. The highest readings were found at the facility boundary within the plume.
EPA water sampling analytical data, from samples collected on 10/3/11, were compared to the TRRP Aquatic Life Surface Water Risk-Based Exposure Limits (SWRBELs) for Freshwater Acute Criteria. The water samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, Pesticides/PCBs, Herbicides and Metals. The Surface Water Anaytical Result Table and Surface Water Sample Location Map are located under the document section.
Sample MAGSW-001 had exceeedances for metals including Aluminum, Cadmium, Copper, Selenium, Silver and Zinc. There was also an exceedence for Trimethylbenzene.
Sample MAGSW-001 and MAGSW-002 were duplicates that were collected in the storm water ditch adjacent to the rail line at John Arden Road.
Samples MAGSW-003 and MAGSW-004 were collected from private ponds in the drainage pathway south of John Arden Road. These samples had exceedences for Copper only.
Sample MAGSRC-001 was collected from firefighting water as it flowed downgradient from the facility property. This sample had exceedences for Aluminum, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Magnesium, Nickel, Selenium and Zinc. There was also an exceedence for Trimethylbenzene in this sample. EPA water analysis were provided to ATSDR and TXDOH.
Since the report states "The water samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, Pesticides/PCBs, Herbicides and Metals," residents are questioning if the water was adequately tested for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Read the Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons for everything you want to know about PAHs. We have also noticed that while the water was tested for some pesticides, the water was not tested for specific pesticides that Magnablend had on-site, alcohols, or glycols.
While analyzing the results of the water sample tests, we have found some disturbing information. The sample collected between Magnablend and Navarro College (MAGSRC) revealed 134.8 mg/L of Copper. This is nearly 18,241 times the defined Acute Freshwater Criteria of 0.00793 mg/L. Tests from the other locations revealed between 3.7 times and 1,617 times the defined Acute Freshwater Criteria. According to the product MSDS information, some health effects include: very hazardous in case of ingestion; hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation; slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant); and toxic to lungs and mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure can produce target organs damage. Chronic effects include passing the chemical through the placenta and excreted in maternal milk.
Zinc ranged from nearly 33 times to nearly 405 times the defined Acute Freshwater Criteria. According to the product MSDS information, some health effects include: skin, eye, digestive tract, and respiratory irritation. May also cause tightness in throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, malaise, abdominal pain, fever, and chills. May affect central nervous system and autonomic nervous system with ataxia, lethargy, staggering gait, mild derrangement in cerebellar function, lightheadness, dizzness, irritability, muscular stiffness, and pain. May also affect blood. Inhalation of fumes may cause respiratory tract and mucous membrane irritation with cough and chest pain. Can also cause "metal fume fever", a flu-like condition characterized appearance of chills, headached fever, maliase, fatigue, sweating, extreme thirst, aches in the legs and chest, and difficulty in breathing.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) raise some interesting questions. According to the results, it appears that VOC levels were higher at the test location on the southern end of Navarro College in a storm water ditch adjacent to the rail line at John Arden Road (MAGSW-001/002) rather than the location closer to Magnablend between Magnablend and Navarro College (MAGSRC).
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene was 1.3 times the defined Acute Freshwater Criteria at MAGSRC and 2.4 times at MAGSW-002. According to the product MSDS information, some health effects include: eye, skin, digestive, and respiratory irritation. May also cause central nervous system depression, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, dermitis, and chemical pneumonitis, which may be fatal. The chemical is also toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates.
1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene was below the defined Acute Freshwater Criteria at MAGSRC, but was slightly over the criteria at MAGSW-002. According to the product MSDS information, the chemical is classified as category 5 for acute inhalation toxicity, category 2 for skin irritation, category 2B for eye irritation, and category 3 for specific target organ toxicity for a single exposure in the Globally Harmonize System of Classification (GHS). Health effects include: respiratory tract, skin, and eye irritation. Hazardous decomposition products formed under fire conditions; produces carbon oxides.
View the entire table of Surface Water Analytical Result Detections.
Keep in mind that bold values indicate a detected concentration and bold + highlighted indicates a detected concentration that exceeds the TRRP SWRBEL (Texas Risk Reduction Program - Surface Water Risk-Based Exposure Limit). Also keep in mind that the safety criteria is based on acute exposure (up to 14 days) rather than chronic exposure (more than one year).
EPA Surface Water Sample Locations Map