The list of pollutants in the air means nothing unless you know just how much harm each can cause. In this chart, we see that the highest risk level in the San Rafael Creek area is from carbon tetrachloride, which, according to the EPA, affects the human body in a number of ways. The primary effects of carbon tetrachloride can be found on the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The carcinogenic effects on humans? Limited, but animals have developed cancer in tests.
The second most pronounced chemical on the list, benzene, can indeed cause leukemia in both humans and animals, according to the American Cancer Society. No. 3, acetaldehyde, “is ubiquitous in the environment,” says the EPA. The chemical is considered to be probable human carcinogen and can also effect the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.