This Is What's Happening To People Who Live Near The Worst Gas Leak In US History

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via,

On February 18, SoCalGas and the national media declared theworst methane gas leak in U.S. history” permanently sealed, but just over a month later, hundreds of Porter Ranch residents who evacuated — and are now returning home — are suffering the same symptoms they suffered when the gas leak was active. They are experiencing nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nosebleeds, and many, including children, are also experiencing a new ailment: irritated skin rashes across their bodies.

Neither SoCalGas, which owns the Aliso Canyon facility, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, nor any other government agency has provided a concrete explanation for these continued symptoms. In fact, one of Los Angeles County’s top medical officials recently told local physicians to refrain from performing tests to determine what is causing the symptoms. Late last week, preliminary lab tests from an independent UCLA study found evidence of benzene, a carcinogen, in at least two Porter Ranch homes. Benzene was reported to have been released in the 100 metric tons of methane that spewed into the Los Angeles basin for four months — a fact SoCalGas previously attempted to downplay and withhold.

Reemergence of Symptoms

On March 4, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander issued a press release reporting the Department of Public Health had received at least 150 complaints of reemerging symptoms, including nosebleeds, dizziness headaches, nausea, and skin rashes. Now, the Health Department says it has received 300 complaints since residents began moving home after SoCalGas told them it was safe to do so.

Many residents have said the rashes, which can be extensive, are new and did not occur during the initial, months-long gas leak from October to February. During that time, thousands of families were evacuated and the Department of Public Health received 700 health complaints. Others reported experiencing skin irritation before they relocated, though it appears to be more widespread now.

Residents who left Porter Ranch for temporary housing accommodations and recently moved home told Anti-Media about their symptoms (many still have not moved home, fearful it is still unsafe). Helen Ritenour, a Porter Ranch resident who left the area in December, said that within two days of returning to their home, she and her family began feeling sick.

The main symptoms are headaches, difficulty breathing, watery eyes, coughing and general fatigue. It feels like I’m in a thick fog of sorts that’s oppressive,she said. She and her husband were not eager to return home, still concerned about toxins in the area and the health of their newborn baby. But amid long delays receiving reimbursements from SoCalGas — and unable to charge more expenses on their credit card — they moved back to Porter Ranch. Ritenour told Anti-Media that like many other families, she and her husband have had to pay out-of-pocket for relocation services — and have experienced long delays receiving reimbursement checks.

Gabriel Khanlian, a resident who serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Save Porter Ranch, a group formed in 2014 to fight the massive, aging, and leaking facility before the blowout even happened, also said he and his family have suffered symptoms since moving home.

My daughter Tatiana keeps getting large rashes, red welts and bumps all over her body. Her skin is dry and her behavior has changed significantly and she is very cranky. She has a loss of appetite and is sleeping a lot more,” he said. “My sons, Jayden and Mason, have been getting bloody noses, headaches, upset stomachs, burning eyes, runny nose, dry skin.”

gas leak

He described other troubles they’ve had, noting his sons are experiencing “anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, and stress from not having the ability to play. Their personalities have changed majorly.

He said his wife, who experienced symptoms during the initial methane gas leak, is now experiencing them more severely than before.

Kyoko Habino, a Porter Ranch resident and co-founder of Save Porter Ranch, said:

When I go home to pick up stuff or do a few things, within a few minutes, I start having a dull headache and coughing and having palpitations. Nosebleeds follow later on often. My partner has had headaches, fatigue, and a burning sensation in his chest at the same time I have. Our cat has had a nosebleed and vomited. When I am away from home, the headache goes away instantly. The cough and nosebleed stay for a while, and are gone after.

Walter Arwood, a Porter Ranch resident, experienced nausea, among other symptoms:

I am rolling over sick right now. My stomach has been so upset, I have gotten all the headaches back, my husband has had three nose bleeds in two days, and now a visiting relative was out of breath just walking up the stairs at my home. How is it safe?


Arwood was evacuated during the methane gas leak and recently returned home. “Since we have moved back the symptoms have immediately returned,” he said. “Itchy skin is the only new thing.  We have all of our air purifiers on and the scrubber running and still it is happening.”

Residents in surrounding areas, including Chatsworth and Granada Hills, have also reported a reemergence of symptoms.

Sandy Crawford, a resident of Granada Hills, told CBS News in February — after the methane gas leak was sealed — that within a few hours of returning home, her youngest son had trouble breathing and suffered a nosebleed. Crawford moved her sons back to their hotel, and after trying again to move home and experiencing the same results, she returned to the hotel for a second time. She told Anti-Media they recently tried sleeping at home for a few nights and did not feel symptoms, but she remains afraid they could return. As a result, she is staying at the hotel.

“Avoid performing any toxicological tests”

Though these symptoms are pronounced, neither SoCalGas nor the Department of Public Health has offered a definitive explanation of what is causing them. In fact, Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Director of the Bureau of Toxicology and Environmental Assessment at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, recently issued a “Health Update” to “primary care, urgent care, internal medicine, and emergency medicine providers” in the area cautioning them against conducting tests on patients with symptoms.

The advisory, dated Tuesday, March 8, requested that healthcare professionals “look for alternate etiologies other than air contamination,” and “avoid performing any toxicological tests,” claiming “these are not recommended and are unlikely to provide useful data for clinical evaluation of patients.”

Rangan said in the notice that if no “alternative etiology” is found, doctors should consult with him. While it is an indisputable act of due diligence to recommend doctors check for other potential causes of symptoms, it is unclear why a top public health official would discourage doctors from performing tests to better understand illnesses among their patients.

It’s not to steer the community away from thinking it’s not an environmental issue,” Rangan insisted to the Los Angeles Daily News, adding that, as the local paper summarized, “even when the gas was leaking he did not recommend that doctors perform toxicological tests because there is no test that can determine if a person was exposed to natural gas.”

However, residents are concerned not just with methane, but with other contaminants found in it, from mercaptans to benzene to other toxic emissions (mercaptans are odorants added to natural gas to make it detectable, and are believed to have caused symptoms when the gas leak was active). Many found Rangan’s explanation to be insufficient and an attempt to ask doctors to “look the other way.”

Further, his request that doctors refrain from conducting tests appears to contradict his own supplementary declaration provided for a hearing held last Friday to extend relocation benefits to residents, many of whom feel they were rushed out of temporary housing, evidently, before it was safe to return home.

In that statement, Rangan referred to the continued illnesses as “perplexing,” proceeding to offer potential explanations not previously disclosed to Anti-Media when he spoke with us:

It could be that there are persistent levels of contaminants still present in the community, or there could be other exposures in areas of the community that were missed in the external environmental monitoring, or perhaps gases may have saturated the soil at the Aliso Canyon facility or other substrates and are being released now that the source has been sealed.”

In spite of Rangan’s multiple hypotheses, however, he has offered no definitive explanation, nor does it appear the Department of Public Health has seriously looked for one (meaning it could be helpful for physicians to run tests on their patients). Asked to investigate a persistent oily residue coating the outside of residents’ homes and the playground of at least one park, representatives sent from Public Health reported they found “no evidence of any oily residue and no health concern for residents or visitors.”

When residents complained to Councilman Englander, representatives from his office confirmed the playsets were coated in oil and SoCalGas agreed clean the park. Three other parks were also shut down amid concerns about the residue, which Rangan insists is safe, aside from causing skin irritation. Mandi Bane, a lab assistant in Rangan’s office, told Anti-Media they have no intentions to test the soil in the community.

Because of incidents like this — such as Dr. Rangan downplaying concerns about long-term side effects from mercaptans, though there is little research to support his assurances — some residents increasingly doubt Public Health’s commitment to helping the community. Many have complained they reported symptoms and received little more than packaged statements in response. Some received no response.

Rangan’s office did conduct door-to-door surveys of residents two weeks ago to gather information on what could be causing the symptoms, an effort reported to be joined by state officials. Bane told Anti-Media they recorded over 200 reports and it would take time to process them before they could comment.

Rangan’s office also requested outside assistance to conduct indoor air sampling, after it was  “determined that such a protocol is beyond the expertise of the Department of Public Health.

Rangan first solicited the help of the EPA to conduct indoor air testing for contaminants, but it was expected to take until May to develop a protocol. Last week, however, Dr. Michael Jerrett, a professor and chairman of UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, shared preliminary test results from a small sample of homes with Public Health. The independent study raised concerns about the presence of benzene, a known carcinogen, as well as hexane, in two homes. As a result of these findings, UCLA has partnered with Public Health and Dr. Jerrett and his team will begin sampling 120 homes in the coming days to conduct further analysis. According to a press release from the Department of Public Health posted Saturday:

As a continuation of Professor Jerrett’s independent study, an indoor dust swab sampling was completed in seven homes. Benzene and hexane were found in two of the homes. Benzene and hexane, at certain levels, have known toxic effects on humans, but it is unknown whether the levels found are high enough to be of health concern. Professor Jerrett is sharing these findings with the community and will continue to conduct independent scientific analyses.


As the Daily News explained, Jerrett’s results showed “higher and more variable concentrations of particulate matter in the outdoor air at locations close to the leak site compared to those farther away, according to the Health Department. Particulate matter is described as tiny pieces of solids or liquids in the air, such as dust, dirt, soot, or drops which can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems.”

SoCalGas, however, has failed to provide a conclusive explanation for residents’ illnesses. At a protest on Friday, March 4, which culminated outside the company’s Community Resource Center located in Porter Ranch’s main shopping center, SoCalGas spokeswoman Lisa Alexander spoke to Anti-Media about the reemergence of symptoms. She left the onus of responsibility on the Department of Public Health.

You know, we recognize that people are saying that they have symptoms, and we hear that, we see the news stories, we’ve been in touch with Department of Public Health to inquire about that,” she said, adding that Public Health expected symptoms to decrease as the blowout’s emissions dissipated — and with them, the mercaptans.

gas leak

Is there one house that has been tested that shows a harmful level at this time?”

SoCalGas, at the request of County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, agreed to conduct indoor air testing on a ‘random’ sample of 70 homes in Porter Ranch last week. Residents’ increasing distrust of the utility was further intensified when some residents reported they had received calls from the gas company to perform indoor testing on their homes, but were asked if they had legal counsel. If they said yes, multiple residents reported, they were told they were not eligible for the ‘random’ testing.

Nevertheless, SoCalGas shared these test results at a relocation hearing last Friday to assert air quality had returned to normal. SoCalGas’ attorney James Dragna also reportedly cited the Department of Public Health as an authority on the matter.

Matt Pakucko, president of Save Porter Ranch, spoke to local CBS radio station KNX shortly after the hearing:

This is such propaganda by SoCalGas,” he said. “They used their indoor testing that they just performed over the last week as their main facts on the ground. But they have said themselves weeks ago, months ago, that the mercaptan and the methane — the only things they test for — would be long gone. So they went and tested what they knew would be long gone… I can’t believe the judge bought it.”

Judge Emilie H. Elias reportedly asked, “Is there one house that has been tested that shows a harmful level at this time?” However, Dr. Jerrett’s results, which showed two homes with potentially hazardous levels of benzene, were not presented.

Jerrett’s preliminary findings were shared with the county just before the hearing, and county attorney Deborah Fox expressed a desire to submit them to the court for an appeal this week.

Though the media reported the judge’s ruling as a tepid victory for residents, who will receive one more week of paid relocation services, county attorney Deborah Fox had originally sought two months. She then sought a 30-day injunction, ultimately settling for a single week extension.

Pakucko said of the ruling:

Any sane person would say [the testing should be complete before a decision is made] … there are people reporting health issues, the cause of which has not yet been discovered.

Save Porter Ranch and much of the community are campaigning to have the entire, 3,600-acre Aliso Canyon facility shut down.

SoCalGas had previously been ordered to extend relocation services as residents began reporting symptoms again after the gas leak, a decision the company fought. Residents have also complained they have not yet been reimbursed for the months they were relocated, citing long waits, convoluted customer service, and financial strain caused by SoCalGas’ reimbursement process.

On Tuesday, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich announced the court had suspended its Friday ruling, presumably in light of the county’s submission of Jerrett’s results. Los Angeles Times reporter Abby Sewell tweeted an update that residents now have until March 29 — an extra four days — pending further legal proceedings.

As the legal battle continues, the difficulties of obtaining comprehensive, reliable air tests remain complicated by the fact that humans can smell mercaptans at lower levels than equipment can detect them. Pakucko told Anti-Media residents have consistently been reporting the smell of mercaptans, though SoCalGas spokeswoman Melissa Bailey assured Anti-Media via email there were no current leaks.

Neither SoCalGas nor the regulatory South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCQAMD) offered an explanation to Anti-Media regarding elevations in methane emissions since the gas leak was sealed. They are not consistently high, but nevertheless contradict assurances from the gas company that air quality has returned to “normal.” For example, from March 17 to March 22, methane levels in the community exceeded 3 ppm (parts per million); SCAQMD, itself, says “Results greater than 3 ppm suggest some additional sources of methane.” A March 13 sampling of air at the site of the repaired well, SS-25, found methane levels at 46 ppm; according to SCAQMD, “results greater than 10 ppm suggest a considerable additional amount of methane is present.” Though SCAQMD cautions the levels of methane have been dropping since the methane gas leak was sealed in February, 46 ppm is still 43 ppm above ‘normal.’

Further, a recently published government survey, initiated after the Aliso Canyon blowout, found 229 leaks in natural gas storage fields across California. Though the leaks were deemed minor, 66 were found at Aliso Canyon.

As Porter Ranch residents continue to deal with the fallout from the months-long environmental disaster, communities around the country face similar battles. From the increasing number of communities plagued with unsafe levels of lead (among other chemicals) in their water and soil, to the radioactive leaks in New YorkFlorida, and elsewhere across the country, Americans face an increasingly apparent, non-partisan struggle against aging, dangerous infrastructure — and the apathetic, often negligent authorities and corporate hegemons responsible for maintaining it.

In Porter Ranch, SoCalGas and public officials have, at least, begun to acknowledge something is still amiss in the community. As Pakucko told Anti-Media:

They’ve stopped saying everything’s fine. I’ve got two words for ‘everything’s fine’: Flint, Michigan.

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Linglishboy's picture

we live in a democracy we li ve in a democracy we live in a democracy w live in a democracy we live in a democracy we live in a democracy we live in a democracy we live in a democracy we live in a democracy we live in ade mocracy

All right ! i'm ready to vote Hillary now...just a check up...sorry

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

When it gets serious you have to lie. No, really, you have to lie.

<All other times you lie just because it's fun.>

Son of Loki's picture

I sure hope they don't have Obamacare non-coverage insurance. They'll go broke just meeting the deductible!

Wait What's picture

it's probably no coincidence that Ventura County (which borders LA County almost exactly where the Porter Ranch leak took place) has seen a spike in cardiomyopathy at exactly the same time as the methane leak itself. Correlation is not causation, but ...,+Los+Angeles,+CA/@34.2781...!4m2!3m1!1s0x80c284cf4cbdc2b1:0xfe06e18103393310

gonetogalt's picture

If I had a house there, it would be susceptable to 'Jewish Lightning'.

espirit's picture


Or else you wanna be a .gov dependent.

JoeSexPack's picture

Propane is heavier than air, so sinks & concentrates, risking poisoning & explosion.


Methane is lighter than air, that's why it's used indoors, it rises & disapates to nothing.


If it did concentrate, then we'd see daily explosions from lighters & exhaust pipes. We'd also see many detectors beeping.


Since we don't see either of these, we have no good evidence this is a real risk. Methane simply leaks, rises & vanishes.


Or did I miss something?

The Merovingian's picture

Just go ahead and keep your head stuck in that contaminated sand and let us know how that works out for you. But, as the father of an 8yo, if my kid had that rash and I lived in that community I would move and lawyer up immediately. Anyone who thinks that a leak of this magnitude has no physical effects on people needs to be locked in a house at the epicenter for a few months for beta testing.

JoeSexPack's picture

Leak-detector would prove the point for residents, but that hasn't happened.


Try this...go to stove, hold balloon over pilot light & fill. Tie off & release. Balloon will rise, methane is lighter than air.


If it did concentrate, then it would ignite when contacting lighters or exhaust pipes.


That hasn't happened either.


N2OJoe's picture

Unless it's the other crap that was mixed in with the methane that's lingering and causing problems.

Stroke's picture

Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,Don't move to Florida,

TurdOnTheRun's picture

who is lying and what are they lying about? All employees for the cities, counties, state and feds are all lying?

All people need to do is turn off the gas in their homes and business and the gas storage fields will not be needed and uneconomical and will be closed.

Stop buying gasoline, diesel, propane and propane excessories (sorry Hank) and there will be no need for new wells, refineries, transmission lines or tanker trucks.

Solving the problem of relying on petroleum hydrocarbons is easy, stop using them. Problem solved. It is that simple.

hangemhigh77's picture

Put Rangen in one of the houses and lock him in. Guarantee he doesn't live there. Just go into the company's main office and hang all the directors and the CEO.

pilager's picture

 I've been that way for the last 7+years now

junction's picture

See California and die!  Those Porter Ranch poisoned residents are the advance guard of most middle class and higher Americans who are learning that once the payoffs are made, politicians are monkeys who dance to the tune of their organ grinder. Whatever your economic class.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Mar 26, 2016 4:10 PM

If it would concentrate near the ass region there would be a bunch of Americans going there to get a Kim K butt

turnoffthewater's picture

Californians just love their democracy. How's that working out for you?

Where's Erin B?

css1971's picture

They know exactly what's causing the continuing problem. Air and surface swab samples would be giving detailed profiles of exactly which compounds are present and the amounts of them.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) css1971 Mar 26, 2016 4:53 PM

Its called an experiment, they need to see how this all plays out for the good of science.  

Witch-king of Angmar's picture

Absolutely! Before, the gas was coming out of one place under a lot of pressure. Now it's seeping slowly from perhaps hundreds of smaller locations in the same general area.

Perimetr's picture

  The Director of the Bureau of Toxicology and Environmental Assessment at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, recently issued a “Health Update” to “primary care, urgent care, internal medicine, and emergency medicine providers” in the area cautioning them against conducting tests on patients with symptoms.

The advisory, dated Tuesday, March 8, requested that healthcare professionals “look for alternate etiologies other than air contamination,” and “avoid performing any toxicological tests,” claiming “these are not recommended and are unlikely to provide useful data for clinical evaluation of patients.”


What a disgrace!  Don't do any tests on patients with symptoms! Look for other causes than air contamination!

Time to organize a lynch mob for these bastards who do everything they can to protect the guilty and harm the innocent.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It's the Fukushima medical diagnostic model. I see nothing, I know nothing, therefore I shall look for nothing.

<Surprise! There's nothing there to worry about.>

boattrash's picture

Speaking of Fukushima, do the symptoms fit radiation poisoning?

Don't hold me to this, but it seems like I read an article of radiation levels testing 60,000 X's (or some shit like that) higher than prevoius levels in the area. If I find it I'll come back and link it.

espirit's picture

Could be a combination of toxins, for those with weakened immune systems.

It all sucks, but depopulation is part of the plan.

F em all but 6's picture

Rememer Sargent Shultz from Hogans Heroes??

css1971's picture

It may not be air contamination. If the methane plume contained small amounts of other solid or liquid contaminants and it's probable it did given the finding of benzene, then it may be something deposited on surfaces which is causing the problems. I'd still be running toxicological tests though.

AGuy's picture

You could be on to something. It make be that some hydrocarbon either condensed or reacted with the air to become compounds that have settled on to surface. People touch the surfaces and get exposure.

Well, just one more reason not to live anywhere near CA. If the Gov't regulations, earthquakes, or the Drought doesn't get you, something like a NatGas leak will. I recall a few years ago about a rupture of a major NatGas line in CA that whiped out a few neigborhoods when it exploded.




i_call_you_my_base's picture

"As the legal battle continues, the difficulties of obtaining comprehensive, reliable air tests remain complicated by the fact that humans can smell mercaptans at lower levels than equipment can detect them."

Makes no sense. Non sequitur.

Ms No's picture

A lot of people have expressed skepticizm over personal detection eqipment that is provided by employer over the years.  Especially when you smell H2S and nothing ever goes off.  Granted they will go off when it's time to run.  I wonder how good the detection equipment is for guys working on nuke pipe.  Would we ever know?

i_call_you_my_base's picture

My point is that whether someone can smell something has no bearing on how a piece of equipment works. They are completely separate things. If you want to execute an objective study, you can. A human's sense of smell won't "complicate" a study if it's a legitimate study. If it does, the study isn't legitimate.

Ms No's picture

Yeah, I agree with you.  I was just adding to that sometimes people wonder about how equipment is calibrated.

buzzsaw99's picture

no evidence of oily residue on ted cruz' used condoms either

Normalcy Bias's picture

Reminds me of the people who reportedly died from exposure to the Corexit used to 'clean up' the BP oil spill.

Whenever very big business and a lot of money are involved, things tend to get swept under the rug.

fxpmtrader's picture

Nothing new under the sun - since Stone age.

Ignorant and dumb animals get exactly what they elect = deserve.

Elect corporations (or their puppets) dominating America and you get corporations (or their puppets) dominating America. 1 + 1 = 2. Not?

Dumb fucks.

Since Stone age.

skinwalker's picture

Wonder how many people are making up symptoms to take part in the lawsuit money. Before you junk me, keep in mind this is america, and sue is what we do. 

Son of Loki's picture

Now that you mention it, I'm feeling kind of dizzy and itchy after reading this toxic article. ... a little depressed and emotinallly distressed also .... even my low back hurts!

espirit's picture

But, but, but...

Isn't Kalipornia our shining star?

Blankone's picture

One of the best ways to defend against what you claim are false claims would be to test the people.  But instead doctors are being told not to test them. 

Frankie Carbone's picture

There is a simple litmus test here. 

You put out an ad in the local paper thanking the authorities for capping the leak. Then to celebrate, at dusk that day you are going to fire a 100 roman candle salute over the former leak site, as a tribute to the authorities and their due dliigence.

Watch them fucking freak out. Watch your house endure a SWAT raid. Watch the local media turn a blind eye. 

THEN, you will know. 

SmittyinLA's picture

Bullshit meter pegged, I live a block away, this is a giant trial lawyer looter attempt that will only "drain the suckers".

Would people poison their own kids for litigation cash? Yes

gonetogalt's picture

So the guy in the pic has poison oak?

teslaberry's picture

mild radiation sickness?

underground gas has a shit ton of radon in it. pretty radioactive, but not sure if the does is sufficient, however, it's ALL airborn radiation........

Uranium Mountain's picture

It's like reading what happened to the sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan when they drove the ship into the plume of Fukushima fall out. Deep underground Wells bring forth radioactive isotopes that have been buried in the ground for centuries. I guess the people should be breaking out Geiger counters. You can't see or smell radiation.

robnume's picture

The word "unconscionable" is a given when talking about SoCalGas, but a fucking Dept. of Public Health physician signing off on this shit? That's truly unconscionable. Dr. Rangan hould be forced to live at Porter Ranch for a least a whole year, and his family, too. What a total asshat. Must have been handed a large envelope of cash from SoCalGas.

bugs_'s picture

I thought California was run by the proper people with all the proper beliefs.

How can any of this be true?

Now the Russians took care of their huge gas leak in 1996 with a NUKE.

Chu wanted to NUKE the deep water horizon well (macando) leak but that didn't happen here is another chance guys!!

silverer's picture

Nothing to fear California! You've got Nancy Pelosi to FIGHT for YOU! And the rest of those heroes you elected.

Road Hazard's picture

HA! Keep holding up your signs with angry words on them. SoCalGas laughs at each and every one of you. Enjoy your future health problems.

Besides, F California and everyone in it. Crappy state, crappy people, crappy gun laws, runaway taxes, etc., etc., etc.