have are dr. andrew hunt, is he on the phone with us? a
uta assistant professor at environmental services. do we have dr. hunt on the phone. >> on the phone. >> he is on. >> what can you tell us about these toxic chemicals released into the atmosphere? what can they do for people? >> i'm not familiar with some of the chemicals that are being loused and manufactured at this plant but it is clear from the black smoke that the oil products are burning ferociously and they are producing fine particulate material in the environment. and that can be deleterious to people's health to inhale this stuff. >> what can happen to you if you inhale this stuff, dr. hunt? >> they are particles that can be pen operate -- penetrate most deeply into people's lungs and cause problems. and not because of the particles in your lungs but they may have organic compounds associated with them and some of the these organic compounds associated with the carbon particles are possible carcinogens. >> and people who already have breathing difficulty, perhaps chronic lung diseases, would they be more vulnerable or does this apply to anyone? >> you're right. inhaling these fine particles has been shown to be associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes so problems with heartbeat, irregularity, and potentially heart attacks but it tends to be in populations who are already compromised and types of chemicals, inhalants, then you can have an immediate adverse reaction. >> and dr. hunt, when we talk about these toxic flames, of course the people in the mode area are concerned. -- in the mode area are concerned. the folks -- in the immediate area are concerned. the folks in waxahachie. but how far can these toxins travel in the air? >> you can see the smoke, which is really, very fine particulate matter, particles, and depending on the wind this could travel huge distances. >> dr. hunt, we appreciate your time this afternoon.