The Richmond refinery fire Aug. 6 sent thousands of residents to area hospitals, with lung, nose, and other issues -- but somehow blew right past air-quality monitors that could measure the harmful smoke, according to reports.
The closest device that could record pollution was two miles away from the refinery, which caught fire Aug. 6, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Two weeks after the fire, results from that monitor are not yet available, the newspaper reported.
That monitor didn't begun to collect air quality readings and levels of particulate matter and other pollutants, which can cause cancer, asthma, and bronchitis, until 5 1/2 hours after the fire began, the newspaper reported.
Thus far, 11,000 people have been seen at emergency rooms and doctor's offices due to complications from exposure to the smoke, the exact chemical makeup of which is still unknown, the newspaper reported.