Refinery Fire hospitalizations and increased prices

More than 9,000 people sought treatment at local hospitals for health problems stemming from the massive fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California.

Dr. Wendel Brunner, the county’s public health director, said residents who were exposed to particulate matter complained of a variety of problems, including irritation to the nose, throat and eyes, as well as asthma attacks, wheezing and difficulty in breathing.

Plumes and flames visible from San Rafael of the Richmond Chevron refinery fire early Monday night, Aug. 6, 2012. Credit Barbara Schiff/BCN

Gas prices in California have increased by 25 to 40 cents per gallon and are likely to remain high for several months.

The death toll from a Venezuelan oil refinery fire is now at 48 with dozens injured.

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