Potential Risks Associated With Living Near A Refinery Or A Large Harbor

Environmental Issues

In quest of achieving development and sustaining growth in revenue gained from the ports it is imperative to be mindful of the repercussions that come along. In this literature we seek to unearth and explore health impact from environmental pollution of refineries and ports. According to World Health Organization on the International Programme on Chemical Safety (WHO/IPCS) environmental pollution is a factor contributing to health diseases. In saying this, risk assessment done on the impact of living near a refinery and a port reveal saddening findings pointing to a threat to human health and environment (Perrow, 2011).

Understanding biological basis of diseases is essential in building and developing mechanisms on prevention. However, analysing the etiology of diseases may prove burdensome because of multiple origins and interplay of risk factors. In regard to environmental impact report on construction of more refineries there exist a relationship of the plant and the environment. The construction will foremost interrupt the ecosystem. Emissions from these facilities both in liquid and gaseous waste affect human health.

Notable cases have shown an increase in respiratory diseases in people living near such facilities. In reference to the U.S national academy of sciences report on effects of pollution from ports and refineries; asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are among leading illnesses due to air pollutants from diesel exhaust which include;  volatile organic compounds, oxides of poisonous elements such as nitrogen, sulphur and carbon. These toxic fumes are also responsible for disintegration of  biodiversity as result of acidic rain that corrodes structures, plants and affect aquatic life especially when oil spill occurs in natural body waters; oceans. It is undeniably true therefore that this construction poses as a menace to the inhabitants of Los Angeles and generally to Californian population.

According to Dr Sheldon, Science is an intellectual activity carried on by humans that is designed to discover information about the natural world in which humans live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized into meaningful patterns. A primary aim of science is to collect facts (data). An ultimate purpose of science is to discern the order that exists between and amongst the various facts. Scientific study becomes therefore the practice and process of investigating and experimenting a given phenomena using scientific methods (Bailey, et al. 2004).

On the other hand, anecdotal evidence is informal evidence on occurrence of a specimen under scope that does not use scientific analysis. In the medical fraternity, anecdotal evidence is usually weak and not appropriate basis of a theory. However they have been used over a period of time, they have given birth to modern drugs and practice when assumptions have been tested to yield valid grounds for education and theory development.  While the latter is a conclusive research that employs principles and scientific method the former is accumulate wisdom used for healing and enhancing well-being.

Anecdotal reports from personal testimonies and reputable journals exhibit an array of knowledge although not scrutinized by scientific methods remain relevant and useful. Knowledge in supplementary dietary widely posted on the website is a better way to try solving a problem arising from deficiency. A case with common cold or flu is to use ginger and garlic concoction. This knowledge should not be the only information when making or consulting in regard to medical treatment but may prove insightful as they tend to have a general outlook. For instance, reports on medicinal herbs may persuade a patient to approach a treatment using herbal medicine, or use of organic elements (Vandenbroucke, 2008).

Hispanics and African Americans are the majority of communities living near ports/refineries. Most of the ports and refineries operate close to residential neighbourhoods. This proximity to such facilities exposes people in these areas to health risks from air pollution.  Statistics show that Los Angeles emit more air pollutants from ships, harbour tugs, trucks, boats and ferries than all power plants in southern California. Additionally it is predicted that smog-forming pollutants and other particulate matter will increase as trade triples by 2025. Many people living in such areas are likely to suffer high rates in morbidity and mortality. Another contributing factor to this increment in mortality and morbidity rates is due to lack of health care. This is evident as majority of the populace is low income and lack health insurance cover.  Age is also a contributing factor as many old people suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as a result of long term exposure to pollutants. It is therefore a case of insults to injury as these people are not only exposed to hazardous environments but also lack the ability to prevent and receive quality healthcare due to low income and poverty.

Multi-Criteria Integrated Resource Assessment (MIRA) is an initiative that targets engagement of stakeholders in collaborative decision making where transparency and inclusive decisions are achieved. To do this, MIRA has to identify policies and problems in the diverse interests of stakeholders; federal, environmental groups, investors, health sector and the peoples to reach a strategic decision. Environmental problems are complex; this is observed in definition of the problem and search for a common ground, for MIRA to change anything pertaining to the refinery or the port it has to gather as much as possible so that the final decision cuts across all issues represented (Fineberg, et al. 1996).

MIRA should aim to avert any environmental consequence from these decisions as they tend to be a one-off enterprise with long term effects. To do is appropriately a list of EIRs has to be consulted to have illumination on all parameters. In such a decision on the impact of construction having in mind the positive results from the growth of business in the oil market, MIRA should endeavour to address possible threats to environment prior to having final drafts. By using its tools it ought to establish a balance between the profitability of the refinery and expansion of the port and the effects on the environment. Recently, debate on sustainable growth is a key factor that cannot be ignored MIRA can work a model using its tools of assessment to suitably attain a mutual benefit criterion.

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