The Aftermath- BP’s Chemical Dispersants Causing Sickness
Evidence is surfacing that the chemical dispersants BP used to ‘cleanup” the massive oil spill of last summer is making people that come into contact with it extremely sick.
BP has admitted to pouring at least 1.9 million gallons of widely banned toxic dispersants in the gulf. BP employees were spotted sparing the chemicals from skiffs, as well as dropping the chemicals from aircraft.
Chemist Bob Naman, from the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been studying the effects.
“The dispersants are being added to the water and are causing chemical compounds to become water soluble, which is then given off into the air, so it is coming down as rain, in addition to being in the water and beaches of these areas of the Gulf,” Naman said.
“I’m scared of what I’m finding. These cyclic compounds intermingle with the Corexit [dispersants] and generate other cyclic compounds that aren’t good. Many have double bonds, and many are on the EPA’s danger list. This is an unprecedented environmental catastrophe.”
The poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the toxic mix is what are making people sick. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.
Naman is not alone. Dr. Riki Ott, a toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor explains:
“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol,”
“2-butoxyethanol is a human health hazard substance; it is a fetal toxin and it breaks down blood cells, causing blood and kidney disorders.”
“Given this evidence, it should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known,” Dr. Ott added.
“Given this evidence, it should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known,” said Dr. Ott.
As of the middle of last sumer, the Alabama Department of Public Health said that 56 people have been treated for oil-disaster related illnesses. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, genetic mutations, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage.
Denise Rednour of Long Beach Mississippi walks along Long Beach nearly every day since the disaster began.
“I’ve had health problems since the middle of July,” she said. “At the end of August, I came home from walking on the beach and for four days had bloody, mucus-filled diarrhea, dry heaves, and blood running out of my ear.”
Dean Blanchard runs a seafood distribution center in Grand Isle:
“They [BP] are using us like lab rats,” he explained, “I’m thinking of moving to Costa Rica. When I leave here I feel better. When I come back I feel bad again. Feeling tired, coughing, sore throat, burning eyes, headaches, just like everyone around here feels.”
That’s not the only threat. In addition to humans and wildlife in the area, there’s another problem with the chemicals. The U.S. federal government has taken precautions by rerouting vessels around the oil and dispersant tainted areas. Dr. Ott explains:
“Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber,” she said, “Spill responders have told me that the hard rubber impellors in their engines and the soft rubber bushings on their outboard motor pumps are falling apart and need frequent replacement.”
“People are already dying from this… I’m dealing with three autopsy’s right now. I don’t think we’ll have to wait years to see the effects like we did in Alaska, people are dropping dead now. I know two people who are down to 4.75 per cent of their lung capacity, their heart has enlarged to make up for that, and their esophagus is disintegrating, and one of them is a 16-year-old boy who went swimming in the Gulf.”