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Today marks nine months since the BP Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and sending millions of gallons of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.
Though the gushing well was capped last July, oil continues to wash ashore along the Gulf Coast. BP's oil is also washing up in people's bodies, raising concerns about long-term health effects.
This month the Louisiana Environmental Action Network released the results of tests performed on blood samples collected from Gulf residents. Whole blood samples were collected from 12 people between the ages of 10 and 66 in September, November and December and analyzed by a professional lab in Georgia, with the findings interpreted by environmental chemist and LEAN technical adviser Wilma Subra.
Four of the people tested -- including three adults and the 10-year-old -- showed unusually high levels of benzene, a particularly toxic component of crude oil. Subra compared the levels found in the test subjects to the levels found in subjects in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a research program conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
That comparison shows cause for concern, as the benzene levels in the blood of four Gulf residents ranged between 11.9 and 35.8 times higher than the NHANES 95th percentile value of 0.26 parts per billion. Benzene is known to cause a host of health problems including anemia, irregular menstrual periods, ovarian shrinkage and leukemia.
The Gulf residents with the highest levels of benzene in their blood included a family of crabbers -- a 46-year-old man and woman and a 10-year-old boy -- and a 51-year-old woman crabber, all from the Biloxi area.
Ethylbenzene was detected in all 12 blood samples from Gulf residents over the NHANES 95th percentile value of 0.11 ppb, with some individuals testing over three times that concentration. Ethylbenzene is known to cause dizziness, damage to the inner ear and hearing, and kidney damage, and it's also thought to cause cancer.
Eleven of the 12 individuals tested had relatively high concentrations of xylenes, with some of them testing up to 3.8 times higher than the NHANES 95th percentile value of 0.34 ppb. Xylene exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, confusion, skin irritation, respiratory problems, memory difficulties and changes to the liver and kidneys. The blood test results also found high levels of other toxic petrochemicals including 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane and isooctane.
The two boys showed some of the highest blood concentrations of the chemicals, and the 10-year-old boy from the Biloxi area suffered severe respiratory problems as a result. His mother, the crabber, also had some of the highest concentrations of the chemicals in her blood.
analyzed for Volatile Solvents by Method 0762, by Metametrix Clinical Laboratory in Duluth, Georgia.
Originally posted by hillynilly
reply to post by Vitchilo
I make you a bet the people are taking small doses of this.
So they can get a huge cash settlement from BP.
Or take them to court and sue to make money.
Originally posted by pianopraze
reply to post by Vitchilo
I won't eat shrimp any more.
Eh, better face it America, the oil and gas industry run a large part of the government.