Phase I: VOC Results

Hailey Kwiatkowski (age 12)

Hailey Kwiatkowski (age 12)

Many readers have questions. I will do my best to answer them in a series of posts, in some cases as the information comes to me.

On April 1, the nurse came to my home in Silt and drew blood and collected urine samples from me (age 60), my daughter Ema (age 38), and granddaughter Hailey (age 12). Before the nurse arrived, the three of us spent one hour outdoors in Silt walking the dogs and playing with Hailey’s little brother Bodi (age 5). Testing was done immediately after our exposure to outdoor air. The three of us live in Silt but in separate houses. All of this occurred between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. The air quality is worse in Silt in the morning.

My husband Tod was not tested because he travels for business and therefore does not have the chronic exposure that we have, and he has not been as sick as Ema, Hailey, and I. My grandson Bodi was not tested because he’s too young to understand the situation. He has been sick when Ema, Hailey, and I were sick, but he wasn’t as sick as we were. He deals with a lot of congestion, the same allergy-like symptoms we experience.

The samples were collected and handled according to CSU’s protocol for collecting and transferring urine and blood samples. Dr. John Hughes from Aspen Integrative Medicine facilitated the testing and transfer. Actual testing of the samples occurred at the laboratory at CSU.

Click on the links below to see the results. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds. The samples are numbered as follows:
#1 Hailey Kwiatkowski
#2 Ema Tibbetts
#3 Peggy Tibbetts

VOC Results – Blood and Urine – 4-4-14

VOCs – Standard Chromatogram – 4-4-14

VOCs in the blood indicate recent exposure. VOCs in the urine indicate chronic exposure.

Hailey tested positive for ethylbenzene and xylenes in her blood and urine. She had high levels in her blood.

Ema and I tested positive for ethylbenzene and xylenes in our urine.

Does it mean anything that Ema and I didn’t have it in our blood? No.

These results indicate chronic exposure to ethylbenzene and xylenes. We spent an hour outdoors immediately before testing, which indicates the VOCs are in the air we breathe.

Dr. Hughes recommended a BTEXs Metabolites screening of the urine samples. We agreed.

Cost for first phase of testing: $725 ($125 for RN services; $600 to CSU lab)

Email your questions to:

3 generations of oil and gas contamination

Phase II: BTEXs Metabolites Results

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4 Comments on “Phase I: VOC Results”

  1. Aminda R Courtwright Says:

    my question is … now what? can it be cleared from the system? is there any way to avoid exposure? masks for example. where is the pollution coming from specifically and how can it be stopped. Is this sort of testing covered by some insurance? Besides Silt where else should people be concerned? How does this relate to heavy metal toxicity?
    If industry in the area is causing this… how do you get them to pay for making you sick?

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    All good questions, Aminda. I’m working on finding out the answers — so bear with me. There’s more to come. I don’t want to overwhelm people with information. I’ve been overwhelmed with information for the past month and it’s kinda stressful.

  3. Aminda R Courtwright Says:

    I hear ya!! As I struggle to understand my own chronic illness I empathize all too well with the overwhelm and more so with helping people understand. Best of luck and I’ll be watching for good news 😀

  4. Wendy Says:

    I would consider getting out of there as soon as you can. You are seeing acute symptoms, but we have yet to understand the long term health effects. Your granddaughter will one day want to have children…there is no sense in continuing to expose yourself or your family. You have enough evidence as it is. This is just my opinion and everyone has a right to decide what is best for them. Good luck in your journey. I know it is not an easy path.

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