When a Drip Becomes a Flood

The Effects of Gasoline Drips

By Zachary Poznak

The drops of gasoline that escape from the nozzle when you fill up your car can have a lasting impact of the environment. In a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, they investigate the effect of these drips over time.

Every ten years, “the team conservatively estimated that some 356 gallons of gasoline leak from pumps.” The leaked gas accumulates in the concrete and will eventually reach the soil underneath. Even if only a small proportion of this leaked fuel reaches the soil, it can seep into groundwater and create a hazard for nearby residents. Gasoline contains benzene, which is a known carcinogen.

There has not been extensive research into the health effects of living near gas stations, but these researchers think that should change “especially as newer stations are being built with an increasing number of pumps.”

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Tully, Andy. “Tiny Gasoline Drips Can Create Big Problems.”OilPrice.com. 9 Oct. 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Tiny-Gasoline-Drips-Can-Create-Big-Problems.html>.
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