Some of you may have already heard about this, but anyone else knew what was going in after the BP oil spill in the Gulf? Folks are getting really sick, cancer has risen up dramatically, plus spontaneous abortions and such..Well here is the article. I know I never heard about this on our news anyway..
The people who worked to clean up the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are at an increased risk of getting cancer, leukemia, and a host of other illnesses, according to a new study released Tuesday in the American Journal of Medicine.
More than 170,000 workers were hired to clean up the nearly 5 million barrels of oil that poured out of the ocean’s floor, rising to the surface in oil slicks and globules. Not only were they exposed to the toxic oil itself — as the report points out, oil contains the carcinogen benzene — but they spent days working with the nearly 2 million gallons of dangerous dispersants used to break up the oil.
At the time of the spill, cleanup crews reported feeling dizzy and fatigued, suffering headaches and nausea. Workers have also reported increases in asthma and coughing up blood. Long term, those could be the least of their worries.
Workers who participated in the report were found to be at an increased risk for cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage. The toxicity can seep into a workers’ bone marrow, too, affecting their production of red blood cells, the Houston Chronicle reports:.."The workers had decreased levels of blood-clotting platelets, as well as lower numbers for blood urea nitrogen and creatinine, which are indicators of kidney health. The amount of liver enzymes alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase in the cleanup workers’ blood also was higher than the non-exposed patients, a warning sign of liver dysfunction and damage.""
Somehow, BP has repeatedly fought against claimants from the spill, insisting that victims are taking “money they don’t deserve.” The company has been recalcitrant about repaying those who suffered damages, going so far as to accuse businesses of fraud.
But their attitude toward the health and wellness of cleanup workers and people who live in the area has been particularly cloak-and-dagger. The company that sold dispersants to BP said back in 2010 that the “active ingredient” in chemical dispersants “is an emulsifier also found in ice cream.” A BP employee, meanwhile, apparently told people down by the Gulf that it’s “as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.” In fact, the chemicals are “acutely toxic.
Earlier this year, a whistleblower outed BP for having lied to and misled workers about the risks of oil cleanup. The company is also said to have downplayed the importance of safety protections.
BP may be fighting lawsuits for the spill and its aftereffects, but the company has been largely shielded from confronting the health damages wrought by the chemicals it used. But even if BP is forced to shell out millions to try to repair the damage, the company has money to spare. Its cleanup workers, however, don’t have that luxury.
Answer by NannyB. at 7:59 AM on Nov. 8, 2013
As with any cross-sectional study and most studies of oil spill disasters, our results should be considered in light of the following limitations. Foremost among these limitations is our lack of predisaster health data on the subjects involved in the clean-up activities. In addition, the demographic characteristics such as sex and age were significantly different between the exposed and unexposed groups and may have impacted the observed findings. Specifically, the median age of unexposed subjects was significantly higher when compared with the exposed group. Furthermore, data on somatic symptoms were self-reported by the oil spill-exposed group and may have influenced the findings of the study.
Also, because the clinical outcomes were measured at one time point after the oil spill exposure, it was difficult to infer a causality using such a study design. Moreover, the effect of the oil dispersant may have contributed to the current findings. The COREXIT used as a dispersant is currently banned in the United Kingdom because of its potential health risks to clean-up workers.5Nonetheless, this study has shed light on the health effects of oil spill exposure and dispersant use in subjects participating in the clean-up activities.
The results of this study indicate that human exposure to the oil spill has a potential to induce both hematological and hepatic toxicity. The hematological alterations include depletion of platelets, decreased BUN, and increased creatinine in subjects exposed to a crude oil spill. In addition, headache, shortness of breath, skin rash, cough, fatigue, painful joints, and chest pain occurred more frequently in oil spill clean-up workers. However, additional long-term follow-up studies are required to understand the clinical significance of the oil spill exposure.
Answer by gdiamante at 9:34 AM on Nov. 8, 2013
I would imagine there would have been the possibility to be dealing with harmful chemicals when cleaning up an oil spill. These things should have been considered and appropriate worker protections should have been paramount. Especially if they can pinpoint it to the chemicals they used to help clean up as suggested. I think the actual study is more informative than Think Progress's article though.
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:36 AM on Nov. 8, 2013
Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:52 AM on Nov. 8, 2013
Answer by Dardenella at 10:51 AM on Nov. 8, 2013