People in oil-producing areas are prone to cancer – Research Professor

Again, more studies are linking crude oil products to cancer. A study suggests that with the rising cases of oil spills, pipeline destruction and gas production in the Niger Delta and over dependence on petroleum products, Nigerians are in for a massive health catastrophe.

A new study published in a journal, PLOS ONE, found that young people diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukaemia are more likely to live in areas of high-density oil and gas development compared to others diagnosed with other types of cancer. The researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz, United States, however, observed no association between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and high-density oil and gas development.

The study is titled “Childhood hematologic cancer and residential proximity to oil and gas development.”

“The findings from our registry-based case control study indicate that young Coloradans diagnosed with one type of childhood leukemia are more likely to live in the densest areas of oil and gas sites.

Besides, studies published in American Journal of Environmental Sciences found that more Nigerians are at a greater risk of developing different types of cancer due to exposure to crude oil pollutants.

The studies, which predict ‘epidemic’ of cancers in oil producing areas of Nigeria by 2025, stated that more than 25 per cent of Nigerians are at an increased risk of developing cancer due to exposure to toxic chemicals from crude oil pollution, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). They also suggest that PAHs can be genotoxic; that is, the damage caused can be inherited.

Another study had established that crude oil, even in low quantity, could harm not just human health but that of fish. The study concluded that people of the Niger Delta are at a higher risk of cancer because high concentrations of this toxic chemical were found in the fishes they eat.

Shell Seeks To Block Nigeria Pollution Claims In London Court

Dutch oil giant Shell on Tuesday urged a High Court judge in Britain to block pollution claims brought against it by more than 40,000 Nigerians, demanding the case be heard in Nigeria instead.

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their Niger Delta communities for decades.

But Royal Dutch Shell lawyer Peter Goldsmith told High Court of England and Wales judge Peter Fraser that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and shouldn’t be heard in London.
“The claims raise issues of Nigerian common law, customary law and legislation,” he said during the first day of the three-day hearing. “The events are said to have occurred in Nigeria and the alleged physical damage is all said to be found in Nigeria.”

Shell pointed out that the case involves its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the government. Goldsmith said the case was aimed at “procuring an ‘anchor defendant’” to establish the High Court’s jurisdiction over SPDC, opening the door for further claims.

Daniel Leader from legal firm Leigh Day, which is representing the claimants, said oil spills from Shell’s pipelines had “blighted the lives of the thousands of Nigerians who live in Ogale and Bille” communities.

“It is clear to the claimants that Royal Dutch Shell is ultimately responsible for failing to ensure that its Nigerian subsidiary operates without causing environmental devastation,” he said in a statement.

“At the moment these communities have no choice — they have to take them to court to get them to act.”

King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi of the Ogale community told AFP his community had no option but to seek a ruling in London.

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Man Slashes Neighbour’s Throat Over Loud Music

A 42 year old man, Thomas McIntyre slashed his neighbour’s throat, 27 year old James Gunn, at his doorstep after complaining that the music from his housewarming party in his home in Glasgow was too loud and was keeping his child awake, according to the Daily Record reports.

The attack happened at James’ apartment in October 2014. He had moved to the property just weeks before.
James said he heard a knock very early in the morning at his door, which he answered, he said McIntyre told him ‘the music is too loud… I have been banging down to tell you to shut up’.”

He said he apologized to McIntyre but didn’t expect what happened next. He said:

“He swung the knife and I stepped back when I saw it coming towards me. “It got me on the neck from the jugular down the jawline.”

He said he managed to slam the door shut, but then slumped into the arms of a friend.
He said:

“I saw that there was a lot of blood, so I screamed for help. My friend wrapped a shirt around my neck to stop the bleeding.”

Fortunately, James survived the attempted murder, he was rushed to hospital and required a number of stitches including one to repair an artery.

McIntyre went on trial last week accused of attempted murder but he denied the charge, stating he was in bed at the time of the attack. He said he would never complain about his child being kept awake as she could “sleep in a nightclub”.

However, a jury convicted him after five people recognised him as the knifeman who attacked James.
The 42-year-old was remanded in custody and faces a lengthy jail term when he returns to the dock next month for sentencing.

Shell’s Claim On Niger Delta Pollution Blatantly False– Amnesty International

Multi-national oil company, Shell, lied when it claimed it had cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published on Tuesday.

The report titled, “Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta”, documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago.

Amnesty said the report was published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned relentlessly against damage caused to the Ogoni area of Rivers State, was executed by the Sani Abacha junta on November 10, 1995.

“By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.

“Oil spills have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the people of the Niger Delta depend on for their food and livelihood. Anyone who visits these spill sites can see and smell for themselves how the pollution has spread across the land,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes