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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.
The individuals tested were two boys ages 10 and 11, four men and six women. They included cleanup workers on Orange Beach, Ala., crabbers from the Biloxi, Miss. area and people living on Perdido Key, Ala.
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.
Specifically, Subra compared the benzene levels in the Gulf residents to the NHANES 95th percentile value -- that is, the score below which 95 percent of the NHANES subjected tested. In other words, she compared the benzene levels found in Gulf residents to some of the highest levels found in the general population.
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.
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.
does anyone recall any sensible safety advice about how to clean people?
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) should use to diminish toxic poisoning from the Gulf disaster. Sodium bicarbonate is the number one item in any protocol to treat exposure to harsh chemicals coming from the oil disaster. The very best treatment, when one first notices a foul smell, taste or flu-like symptoms is to jump into a bath with several pounds of bicarbonate and magnesium salts.
What are going to be the long term effects for the environment, adults, and children from the Gulf?
according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dispersants can cause central nervous system problems or damage to the blood, the kidneys, or the liver, and leave a metallic taste in the mouth.
People in communities where the oil fouled the beaches had much higher incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety all of which translates into higher rates of heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory disorders and other physical illnesses. This is a slowly expanding medical disaster whose true shape and depth will unfold for many years to come even if the oil was shut off tomorrow.
Volatile Organic Compounds Are Main Threat Doctors and everyone need to know that the chemicals released into the air by evaporating oil and/or dispersants include hydrogen sulfide, benzene, methylene chloride, 2-butoxyethanol and other toxic gases known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). All are highly toxic to humans and physical reactions from exposure to these gases may include:
Irritation of eyes, nose or throat
Coughing or difficulty breathing
Nausea or vomiting
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Death (at very high levels)
How many generations are going to be effected.
what about the effects of the corexit on peoples health?
Originally posted by PureET
Well I guess it's getting time to de-populate the area then, since it is now much to toxic to live there..