Gulf Workers With Breathing Problems

Posted on July 8, 2010

Before you consider volunteering to pick up oil off soaked Florida beaches consider this. According to a report, a New Orleans emergency room physician reports that he is seeing many cleanup workers come in with the same symptoms, nausea, headaches and respiratory problems. The workers have been out on the water trying to clean up the oil from BP’s well. Dr. Damon Dietrich says he is seeing a pattern of symptoms he believes are due to breathing noxious fumes from the Coast oil spill disaster, the burning of crude or the dispersants dumped in the Gulf to try and break up the crude oil. There have been too many cases to make it a coincidence, he says. BP has gone so far to blame it on food poisoning. Others believe dehydration may be a factor. But remember when the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska caused workers there to have similar complaints.

Dispersants are known to be toxic to the central nervous system, blood, kidneys and liver. Hundreds of workers have sprayed dispersants along the Gulf trying to break up the oil before it hits the shores and the sensitive marshlands. One man says he was completely unable to function. He was onboard a boat that was burning oil and he says the dispersants were sprayed at night. BP says that didn’t happen. Workers are being told to wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, respirators, and safety clothing.

As was the case with the Exxon Valdez spill, proving a cause and effect is very difficult when it occurs in the real world outside of a laboratory. That gives BP plausible deniability which is all the company really needs to attribute the similar symptoms to a host of other causes.

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