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Independent scientists and activist groups have been carrying out their own blood testing of Gulf Coast residents.
Recent results released in a report involve a 46-year-old male who lives 100 miles from the coast. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, was not a BP cleanup worker, yet tested as having higher levels of chemicals from BP's oil in his blood than the actual cleanup workers.
Dr. Wilma Subra, a chemist and Mcarthur Fellow, analysed his blood and found the highest levels of ethylbenzene than anyone tested to date. Ethylbenzene is a form of benzene present in the body when it
"It's criminal for the government to tell people to eat the contaminated seafood, and that it's alright for people go to our toxic beaches and swim in the contaminated water," Dr. Soto concluded, "This crisis has to be taken seriously by the government and health care community."
Gulf Coast residents and BP cleanup workers have linked the source of certain illnesses to chemicals present in BP's oil and the toxic dispersants used to sink it - illnesses that appear to be both spreading and worsening.
Dr. Rodney Soto, a medical doctor in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, has been testing and treating patients with high levels of oil-related chemicals in their blood stream. These are commonly referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). Anthropogenic VOC's from BP's oil disaster are toxic and have negative chronic health effects.
Dr. Soto is finding disconcertingly consistent and high levels of toxic chemicals in every one of the patients he is testing.
"I'm regularly finding between five and seven VOCs in my patients," Dr. Soto told Al Jazeera. "These patients include people not directly involved in the oil clean-up, as well as residents that do not live right on the coast. These are clearly related to the oil disaster."
Doctor attributes widespread sickness to toxic chemicals from the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe.
"A cough that won't go away"....