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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


On 21 November 2010, I posted a blog on: WHAT WAS THE LARGEST OIL SPILL IN THE UNITED STATES? I believe it has gone essentially unnoticed. It is disturbing to see the trend changing in Panama where I sometimes live. When I first moved to Panama about 5 years ago, most of the roads were paved in concrete. But lately I have notice more and more roads paved in asphalt. This is disturbing because I truly believe that many do not know the serious health challenge cause by asphalt paving.

Asphalt is an oil derivative. When all the more volatile hydrocarbons are extracted from crude oil, what is left is essentially tar. This tar is mixed with gravel and smaller stones to make asphalt that is used to pave roads. The volatile fumes continue to spew forth from the asphalt, especially on hotter days, when sometimes one can actually see the asphalt bubble. I remember when I was a child some kids chewing the asphalt tar. I never did because it did not look as savory as the Italian food my mother was cooking for me!

As the asphalt cures there is less volatile fumes emanating from asphalt roads. But consider in any hot day tens of thousand of cars on the road and the friction of the tires just scraping along the asphalt and the hydrocarbon fumes released into the air. Consider the hundred of thousand individuals breathing those fumes. It cannot be healthy. The government has instituted practices to lessen a person’s breathing fumes at the gas station, but what can be done to prevent the inhalation of fumes emanating from asphalt-paved roads? Almost nothing can be done. Wear a gas mask? Impractical.

What can be done? The only solution is to cease the asphalt paving of roads and use cement.

Let us consider the increased incidence of most disease that could have a link to poisons and toxins in the air we breathe. I will not list them all, but consider almost any condition related to improper brain function: Alzheimer’s, ADHD and related conditions, schizophrenia and autism, and all conditions I discuss on my web site related to cerebral allergies and vitamin deficiencies. Hydrocarbons are toxins and have ready access to the nervous system by inhalation.

I am sorry to say I do not yet have the solution, but we need to be aware of the amount of hydrocarbon fumes entering our environment from asphalt-paved roads. This cannot be a good thing.

nicola michael Tauraso, MD

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