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Argument: Natural gas can be harmful and even poisonous to ingest

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Roxanne Bedford-Curbow. "The Dangers of Natural Gas". 14 Dec. 2002 - I began feeling ill the winter of 1999 and 2000. I started to worry when I wasn’t getting better. I was having strange "brain spells" which I later learned were seizures. I searched my home, vehicle and work vehicle for anything out of the ordinary and noticed a new small odor of gas additive near the furnace in the basement. I was relieved and called the gas company to repair the leak. The repairman did not bring a gas detector, only a carbon monoxide detector which read zero. I was told that it is normal to smell natural gas near the furnace and that I could not blame natural gas for my health problems because it is safe. Had he found the leak and repaired it, my life would be much different now. I was dumb to not listen to my gut which told me the gas was making me sick. Natural gas is poisonous. I had natural gas poisoning, not to be confused with carbon monoxide poisoning which is caused after the gas has burned in the flame.

The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that say methane is non-poisonous, are wrong. (See URL below.) They further say that one must be removed from the toxic area. Toxic means poison. The gas company mailer is not giving the full facts and can, therefore, confuse customers which can result in death. There is no mention of natural gas poisoning in it. My symptoms were: pneumonia, vomiting upon waking, nausea, memory loss, extreme fatigue, headaches, weak gums and teeth, dizziness, bloating, intestinal cramping, flatulence, constipation, weight gain, loss of appetite, diminished menstrual cycles, itching in genitals, loss of libido, pain in extremities, low grade fever, cuts not healing, night sweats, hair loss, chest pain, heart pain, sinus pain, partial-seizures and one grand-mal seizure with loss of consciousness

"'Natural' gas may be harmful to your health". AEHA. - AEHA-NS. and its coalition partners are investivaging the harmful effects of piper natural gas on environmentally induced illness/chemical sensitivity, asthma and allergies as part of the Environmental Assessment of the Sable Island Gas Project proposal.

This is an industrial proposal to pipe Natural Gas ( from Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia onto the mainland.

The effects of the transmission and use of piped natural gas upon persons with environmentally induced illness/chemical sensitivity (2), asthma or allergies can be significant and extremely harmful. Similarly important is the potential impact in the development of new cases of illness and sensitivity, of asthma and other respiratory health problems and of all general illness involving compromised immune systems. Such a development could cause significant adverse economic impact upon the costs of health care, as well as on overall productivity at work and in school. This would burden society overall, not just those who suffer from these conditions.

The reputation of piped natural gas as an environment-healthy fuel ignores these very serious health effects. Industry proponants must be rigorously challenged on their misrepresentation of natural gas as a truly environment-friendly fuel (Gas Combustion Details).

Industry proponents fail to adequately value the dramatic worsening of indoor air quality due to sensitizing properties and other polluting effects of natural gas use for heating, cooking and operating appliances and equipment. Electrical energy generation, preferably remote from human activity, and provided it replaces oil or coal combustion, is the only gas activity that can be demonstrated to give a net benefit to total air quality and human health. Since North Americans spend the vast majority of their time indoors, indoor air quality is far more important than even outdoor air quality in terms of heman health.

Our position is that unless proponants can conclusively demonstrate that building and operating the proposed natural gas pipeline and related projects will not cause harm to humans and the natural environment, there can be no justification for the release of this proposed project. Absence of such proof is not proof of absence of harmful effect. The onus of proof must be on the proponents who stand to gain financially.

The founder and director of the Environmental Health Center - Dallas, Texas, Dr.William J. Rea, M.D. states that, "Of 47,000 patients, the most important sources of indoor air pollution responsible for generating illness were the gas cook stoves, hot water heaters, and furnaces." (Chemical Sensitivity: Sources of Total Body Load, Vol. 2, 1994, CRC Press, Inc., p. 706).[1]

Dr. Gerald Ross, M.D., President of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, writes that, "Traditionally, natural gas is a pollutant chemical that can worsen both classical allergy and chemical sensitivity"..."[patients with complex allergies and sensitivities] will have only limited success with their treatment programs, if they are living in a home that has natural gas or if they are in an area where there is natural gas transportation or leakage." (3 Jan., 1997).[2]

T. Randolph, M.D., and R. Moss, Ph.D., in their book An Alternative Approach to Allergies (NY: Bantam, 1980), devote many pages to the problems with natural gas. ".... for the chemically susceptible individual this (natural) gas may be the worst form of fuel" (p. 86). "The gas stove must be completely removed from the premises" (p. 87). "If a chemically susceptible person has a gas-fired heating system, he has to consider changing it, or changing houses, regardless of the immediate cost. The reason is that it is difficult for a susceptible person to remain in anything resembling good health if he is subjected to the fumes of such a system." (p. 242).[3]

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