RGF Working With Dr. James Marsden on a Solution to the Airborne Oil Fume Problem Associated With Gulf Oil Spill Clean-Up Crews Breathing Crude Oil Fumes

May 4, 2010 West Palm Beach, FL - RGF Environmental Group www.rgf.com president and CEO, Ron Fink, announced today a joint venture study with Kansas State University Regents Distinguished Professor, Dr. James L. Marsden on a method to reduce airborne toxins related to oil spill clean-up workers.

According to NOAA, there may be risks for people working as oil spill responders, observers, and in wildlife rehabilitation due to inhalation of crude oil fumes.

LuAnn White, PhD, a professor of environmental health sciences and the director of the Tulane Center for Applied Environmental Public Health in New Orleans, is on the front lines of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. "We are watching it very closely," she tells WebMD. "The odor from the spill could affect people with respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema. The occupational health issues are immense, she adds.

According to Dr. Gina Solomon, MD Senior Scientist at NRDC, San Francisco, "Oil spills destroy ecosystems and kill wildlife, but people's health is directly affected too. Oil is semi-volatile, which means that it can evaporate into the air and create a heavy vapor that stays near the ground - in the human breathing zone. When winds whip up oily sea water, the spray contains tiny droplets - basically a fume - of oil, which are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs. We know that's happening in the Gulf Coast, because people are reporting a heavy oil smell in the air. Already my colleagues in Louisiana are reporting that people in the coastal community of Venice, Louisiana are suffering from nausea, vomiting, headaches, and difficulty breathing. Oil contains petroleum hydrocarbons, which are toxic and irritating to the skin and airways. It also contains volatile chemicals, called VOCs, which can cause acute health effects such as headaches, dizziness and nausea. Over the long term, many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, so there are lots of reasons to worry about inhaling them."

The problem with crude oil is very high VOC, bacteria and fungal levels. According to Ramesh Putheti, et al, Biological hazard in vended crude oil, levels of 2,200,000 CFU/ML (colony forming units per milliliter) of bacteria are found and 4,000 SFC/ML of fungals are found. In other words, crude oil is an "airborne toxic soup" that will be very dangerous to clean-up workers.

According to Fink, RGF's Air Purification Technologies PHI and REME can kill 88% of airborne bacteria from a sneeze at three feet from the source. Rates exceeding 99% have been achieved with Norovirus, MRSA bacteria and up to 80% of VOCs and odors.
RGF and Dr. Marsden will be working on verifying that RGF's air purification technology will solve, or at least reduce this problem. According to both Dr. Marsden and Ron Fink, they do not anticipate a problem as the RGF technology has been used for over 10 years in over 1,000,000 successful applications. "We know it kills bacteria, viruses, VOCs, mold and odors. However, we will test it on crude oil fumes to be sure."

RGF Environmental Group was founded in 1985 for the purpose of providing the world with the safest and purest water, air and food without the use of chemicals. RGF designs, engineers and manufactures air, water and food purification systems utilizing their Photohydroionization technology.

For additional information, please contact RGF Environmental Group, 3875 Fiscal Court, West Palm Beach, Florida 33404 USA Tel: (561)-848-1826 or (800) 842-7771; Fax (561) 848-9454 or visit our website at www.rgf.com

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