Doctors Linking Gulf Coast Illnesses to BP Oil Spill

A C-130 Hercules drops an oil-dispersing chemical into the Gulf of Mexico

A C-130 Hercules drops an oil-dispersing chemical into the Gulf of Mexico

From Al Jazeera:

“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol,” Dr. Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor, said. “People are being made sick in the Gulf because of the unprecedented release of oil and toxic chemicals from this past summer in response to BP’s disaster.”

Ott is frank in her assessment of the ongoing health crisis residents are facing in the Gulf.

“It’s clear to me there are four to five million people, from Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana, through the big bend of Florida, who are being exposed to dangerous levels of dangerous chemicals,” she said.

“Oil and dispersants are in the air and water, that are at levels that exceeded the acute or intermediate threshold that federal agencies have declared to be safe. Just speaking of air exposure, and there are scientific papers on this, if you release one molecule of toluene, at three metres above the ground, into a six kilometre wind, that molecule, uninterrupted, will travel 34 kilometres.”

Charter plane pilots who have conducted Gulf over-flights have reported having to wipe an oily, orange film from their plane afterwards. Following this, the skin on their hands peeled off. “The oil and dispersants are in the air and in the rain and are making people sick,” Ott said. “These Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are there, and at dangerous levels.”

Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact. Health impacts include headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system (CNS) depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. The chemicals are also teratogenic, mutagenic and carcinogenic…

Read more here.

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