Moss Point Environmental Forum
MS. WILMA SUBRA
August 1 -
Chemist Finds High-Level Of Arsenic In Katrina's Wake
POSTED: 9:07 am CDT July 31, 2006
UPDATED: 9:14 am CDT July 31, 2006
BILOXI, Miss. -- A chemist said soil samples taken in the wakes of hurricanes Katrina and Rita show dangerously high levels of arsenic in some areas along the coast.
Wilma Subra said she believes arsenic, other heavy metals and bacteria in the soils of coastal areas battered by hurricanes last year are causing residents to become sick with unexplained illnesses.
Some who attended a meeting organized by the Outreach of Love to publicize Subra's findings said they or their family members are suffering from unexplained health problems.
Subra said 90 percent of the samples taken in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for arsenic.
She found the highest levels in Mississippi at Moss Point, Gulfport and Pearlington, where arsenic is at levels 27 times beyond what the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality considers safe.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
JULY 29, 2006 AT 7:00 PM
IN THE ARCHIE OSBORNE FAMILY LIFE CENTER
LOCATED AT RESTORATION AND REVIVAL CENTER
3430 MACHPELAH STREET
MOSS POINT, MS
Ms. Subra will be providing information on environmental stressors and human health impacts in the Jackson County area,prior to and following Hurricane Katrina. Her main focus will both on environmental justice vulnerabilities and their impacts on our communities
Ms. Subra has collected samples of the sediment sludge transported on shore by Katrina in the Moss Point- Pascagoula areas. The contamination she detected in her samples consists of Arsenic, other heavy metals, Poylnuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons and a host of bacteria. The bacteria range from E-coli and Salmonella to Staph aureus, which cause skin infections, skin rashes, gastro-intestinal problems and respiratory conditions.
Ms. Subra states: “The problem is the medical community is not treating the patients for both gram negative and gram positive organisms, thus the patients continue to be ill.”
Committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of citizens, Wilma Subra started Subra Company in 1981. Subra Company is a chemistry lab and environmental consulting firm in New Iberia, LA. Mrs. Subra provides technical assistance to citizens, across the United States and some foreign countries, concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation. This information is then presented to community members so that strategies may be developed to address their local struggles.
She is currently Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a member of the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council, and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the U. S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Ms. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities and was one of three finalists in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award.
The public is urged to attend this meeting and be educated on exactly what factors are keeping us ill and what can be done about them.