Contra Costa Health Services has posted a succinct “Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Chevron Fire on August 6, 2012.” [PDF] It’s good information — cleaning fruits, vegetables, avoiding groundwater, health impact, etc.
I republish it here, in its entirety:
1. What are the health impacts from the refinery fire?
Smoke can cause throat and eye irritation, though it generally is not serious
if the exposure is limited. These symptoms should resolve on their own after a few days for most people. Exposure to smoke can be more serious for people with pre-existing lung disease, such as asthma, and they may experience wheezing or have trouble breathing. As of August 8, more than 1,700 people have gone to the emergency room with nose, throat or eye irritation or respiratory issues, although none have been hospitalized.
2. What chemicals were released into the air and how dangerous are they? Continue reading