Upset about emissions? You should be.

And there goes another one.

Oil refineries and chemical processing plants on the Gulf Coast are bringing another industrial byproduct into the air: ‘upset’ emissions.

What are upset emissions?

In lamest terms, they are chemicals released into the air by industrial establishments when something goes wrong. And apparently, there is a lot that goes wrong. In an extreme case, at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge, LA, there was an average of two accidental releases per week for a certain period of time.

Even in an extreme case? Not cool.

The leak marks the 1,068th upset emissions event in the past eight years at the compound. And they are becoming more and more routine, apparently.

Even though the upset emissions pose a lot of health risks for us and, obviously, a huge risk for the environment, the oil and chemical companies say that this is not true. However, evidence provided by experts like Dr. Mark D’Andrea from the University of Texas Cancer Center shows that residents of Texas City in the aftermath of the 40-day release from the BP refinery (another upset emissions event) had a significantly higher white blood cell count than their Houston neighbors.

That basically means that the residents of Texas City have a higher risk for developing cancers like leukemia.

This is what we’re talking about, people. All tree-hugging aside, air pollution is a huge threat to our health. It’s time to pay attention.

What do you guys think? What can regular people do about emissions like these? Share your thoughts below.