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Illinois Lawsuit Claims Shell Oil Released Toxic Chemicals Into Ground Water

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The class action lawsuit, filed in Illinois State Court, names Shell Oil Company and BP Products North America, Inc., and alleges that an old Shell refinery released toxic chemicals into the ground water beneath the refinery 25 years ago, and never cleaned it up.

The lawsuit claims 8,400 gallons of benzene were released from an underground pipeline, and was left to spread into the neighborhoods of Roxana, Illinois. An attorney for the class action lawsuit says that workers in Roxana have had higher than normal rates of leukemia, and local resident Patricia Ford said that she has reoccurring health problems and a compromised immune system.

She said, “I kept getting one infection after the other. I’d get one respiratory infection; it would go away. Then it would come right back.” Ford explained, “I got on the CDC website and that’s one of the things it can do is decrease your antibodies. That’s one of the things it does to people.”

Ford said that she believes the benzene is entering her home through a basement drain and that “It smells really bad when it happens. It smells like raw sewage.  A lot of times it’s so bad it fills the whole house, and it’s given us headaches.”

Last month, the Illinois EPA urged residents not to sleep in their basement because of the presence of benzene.

Officials for Shell have not commented on the class action lawsuit, but have said in the past that testing in the area is part of on-going remediation.

 disclaimer: This article: Illinois Lawsuit Claims Shell Oil Released Toxic Chemicals Into Ground Water was posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 5:46 pm at and is filed under Toxic Substances Lawsuits.

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