Aljazeera reports that gulf spill sickness wrecking lives.
(emphasis mine) [my comment]
Gulf spill sickness wrecking lives
Nearly a year after the oil disaster began, Gulf Coast residents are sick, and dying from BP's toxic chemicals.
By Dahr Jamail
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2011 15:42 GMT
National and State Parks along the Gulf Coast have posted health warnings along the coast [Erika Blumenfeld/AJE]
"I have critically high levels of chemicals in my body," 33-year-old Steven Aguinaga of Hazlehurst, Mississippi told Al Jazeera. "Yesterday I went to see another doctor to get my blood test results and the nurse said she didn't know how I even got there."
Aguinaga and his close friend Merrick Vallian went swimming at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in July 2010.
"I swam underwater, then found I had orange slick stuff all over me," Aguinaga said. "At that time I had no knowledge of what dispersants were, but within a few hours, we were drained of energy and not feeling good. I've been extremely sick ever since."
BP's oil disaster last summer gushed at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest accidental marine oil spill in history - and the largest environmental disaster in US history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons toxic dispersants, including one chemical that has been banned in the UK. [someone from BP recently admitted to used 16 million gallons of dispersants, SO FAR …]
According to chemist Bob Naman, these chemicals create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.
Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this toxic mix are making people sick, Naman said. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.
"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 told Al Jazeera.
"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."
Aguinaga's health has been in dramatic decline.
"I have terrible chest pain, at times I can't seem to get enough oxygen, and I'm constantly tired with pains all over my body," Aguinaga explained, "At times I'm pissing blood, vomiting dark brown stuff, and every pore of my body is dispensing water."
And AGUINAGA'S FRIEND VALLIAN IS NOW DEAD.
"After we got back from our vacation in Florida, Merrick went to work for a company contracted by BP to clean up oil in Grand Isle, Louisiana," Aguinaga said of his 33-year-old physically fit friend.
"Aside from some gloves, BP provided no personal protection for them. He worked for them for two weeks and THEN DIED ON AUGUST 23. He had just got his first paycheck, and it was in his wallet, uncashed, when he died."
National health crisis
Many of the chemicals present in the oil and dispersants are known to cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, kidney damage, altered renal function, and irritation of the digestive tract. They have also caused lung damage, burning pain in the nose and throat, coughing, pulmonary edema, cancer, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, difficulty breathing, delayed reaction time and memory difficulties.
Further health problems include stomach discomfort, liver and kidney damage, unconsciousness, tiredness/lethargy, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, hematological disorders, and death. Pathways of exposure to the chemicals are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact.
Al Jazeera has talked with scores of sick people across the Gulf Coast who attribute their illnesses to chemicals from BP's oil disaster.
Paul Doom, 22, from Navarre, Florida, was training in preparation to join the US Marines, until he became extremely ill from swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
"I stopped swimming in July because I started having severe headaches that wouldn't go away," Doom told Al Jazeera. "But each time I went to the doctor they dismissed it."
In October, Doom began to have internal bleeding, but this too was dismissed by doctors. In November, when it worsened, he was given pain medications in the Emergency Room and was told it would pass. Less then three weeks after that, Doom collapsed with a seizure.
"Since then, I've had two blood tests for Volatile Organic Compounds [VOC's] which are in BP's oil and dispersants, and they both came back with alarmingly high levels," he said.
Children playing in the surf at Orange Beach, Alabama, despite independent scientists' warnings of toxins in the water, air, and seafood [Erika Blumenfeld/AJE]
Since the onset of his symptoms, Doom has been dealing with ongoing internal bleeding, nose bleeds, bleeding from his ears, blood in his stool, headaches, severe diarrhea, two to five seizures per day, paralysis in his left leg and arm, and failing vision.
"A toxicologist that interpreted my blood VOC results told me they didn't know how I was alive," Doom explained. "My Hexane was off the charts, and I have 2 and 3 Methylpentane, Iso-octane, Ethylbenze, and mp-Xylene."
Wilma Subra, a MacArthur Fellow and chemist in Louisiana, has been testing the blood of BP cleanup workers and residents in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Subra tested Doom's blood and found high amounts of several VOC's.
"Ethylbenzene, mp-Xylene and Hexane are volatile organic chemicals that are present in the BP crude oil," Subra told Al Jazeera. "We're finding these in excess of the 95th percentile, which is the average for the entire nation. Sometimes we're finding amounts 5 to 10 times in excess of the 95th percentile."
Subra explained that there has been long enough exposure so as to create chronic impacts, that include "Liver damage, kidney damage, and damage to the nervous system. So the presence of these chemicals in the blood indicates exposure."
Testing by Subra has also revealed the chemicals are present "in coastal soil sediment, wetlands, and in crab, oyster and mussel tissues."
Since January, at least 67 dead dolphins have washed ashore along the Gulf Coast, an event the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared as "an unusual mortality event". In the whole of 2010, 89 dolphin deaths were reported for the same area.
In January, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute chemist and colleagues reported that the toxic chemical dispersants BP used to sink its crude oil remained in the deep ocean in an oil and gas-laden plume that had still not degraded.
Also in January, Louisiana Senator AG Crowe wrote a letter to President Barack Obama expressing his deep concern about the toxic dispersants BP used, and according to Senator Crowe, continues to use along the Gulf Coast.
"Mr President, my concern is that THIS TOXIC AND DAMAGING CHEMICAL IS STILL BEING USED and it will compound the long-term damage to our state, our citizens, our eco-system, our economy, our seafood industry, our wildlife and our culture," the letter read.
"We will not be fooled in to believing that the oil and the toxins are gone. Because the toxic dispersants have been, and are still being used today, the oil is being forced downward in to the water columns and then carried endlessly around and about by the Gulf currents adversely affecting our environment."
Subra, the MacArthur Fellow, is alarmed by what she is finding in the people whose blood she is testing.
"Severe symptoms, lots of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and skin lesions," she explained. "There is a lot of internal bleeding, and the chemicals cause this by disrupting the integrity of the red blood cells."
Subra said: "We're seeing the chemicals in different classes of people. Cleanup workers employed by BP, clean-up workers no longer employed, and we're seeing it in community members who come in contact with the crude by fishing or recreating in the Gulf."
Al Jazeera asked Subra what she thought the local, state and federal governments should be doing about the ongoing chemical exposures.
Tar mats remain along large swaths of coastal Louisiana [Erika Blumenfeld/AJE]
"There is a lack of concern by the government agencies and the [oil] industry." She said, "There is a leaning towards wanting to say it's all fixed and let's move on, when it's not. The crude oil is continuing to come on shore in tar mats, balls, and strings."
Subra continued: "So the exposure continues. There is still a large amount of crude in the marshes and buried on the beaches. As long as that pathway is there for exposure, these problems will continue quite a long time into the future."
A bunch of guinea pigs
Jo Billups is an environmental activist who has taken it upon herself to assist in the funding, along with her friend Michelle Nix, in the blood testing being carried out by Subra.
Working with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and several doctors along the Gulf Coast, Billups and Nix have been holding workshops and helping sick people get their blood tested and find medical assistance.
"We have sick people from Apalachicola, Florida, to Grand Isle, Louisiana, AND IT'S NOT STOPPING and that's what's disturbing," Billups said. "The levels we are seeing are not dropping, and we're seeing new chemicals now. We gave some of our blood test results to [EPA head] Lisa Jackson. They know what is going on, and they are not doing anything about it."
"The saddest part is the children," Billups added. "We're seeing young children with extremely high levels of chemicals. We're altering our DNA and our bodies forever, We're a bunch of guinea pigs."
Jennifer Rexford, from Panama City, Florida, was an oil clean-up worker for BP.
"We were taken to clean up oil and tar balls with inadequate equipment," Rexford told Al Jazeera. "We regularly got oil all over us."
Rexford now has a staph infection that covers much of her body that she attributes to the chemicals in BP's oil she was cleaning up.
"Everyone I know of that I worked with are now having kidney problems, along with lots of other illnesses," Rexford, who has been to the hospital four times trying to find a solution to her infection, said. "My neighbor has a rash all over her body, and another clean-up worker I know found a lump in her breast a month ago. So when I started calling my co-workers, I realized that WE'RE ALL SICK."
BP cleanup workers regularly are not provided with the proper protective equipment for cleaning up hazardous material such as crude oil [Erika Blumenfeld/AJE]
"I have documentation and images SHOWING LESIONS IN MY BRAIN," Paul Doom said. "Lesions that are the same as lesions on the brains of marine life from the Exxon Valdez spill from marine necropsies. This is a life and death situation and a race against time."
Doom said the water and food along the Gulf Coast are not safe, and he is angry at the Obama administration.
"I would ask them why have they allowed this to happen," he said, "How can you live with yourself knowing you allowed this to happen and continue?"
Aguinaga feels betrayed as well.
"I feel stabbed in the back by my own country," he said, "I feel we are being dictated to by a foreign power. Maybe our president is not strong enough to stand up against them. I know money buys people, but they couldn't offer me enough money for the loss of my friend, and the stuff we're going through."
Aguinaga's prognosis for the future of Gulf Coast residents?
"We're all lab rats and we didn't even know it. We're waiting to see how it's going to turn out."
The Examiner reports that Lisa Nelson dies.
Gulf oil spill: Lisa Nelson dies…
March 8th, 2011 4:24 pm ET
There is sad news for Tampa Bay residents who have been following the story of one woman believed to have been victimized by the BP Gulf oil spill: Lisa Nelson. On March 7, 2011, Lisa Nelson passed away after battling a mysterious illness first diagnosed after she watched the Hunters Moon on September 22, 2010. Approximately four months ago, Lisa Nelson conducted an interview with Jerry Cope which is available on YouTube where she describe the mysterious condition that plagued her; she also revealed several large areas of bruising across her chest and torso. Her face and neck swelled three times their normal size…
Below is the youtube video of Lisa Nelson's interview with Jerry Cope.
BP Oil Spill Victims Sickened and Dying, Local Physicians Clueless
My reaction: Gulf spill sickness is wrecking lives and killing people.
1) BP's oil disaster last summer gushed at least 4.9 million barrels and at least 1.9 million gallons toxic dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico.
2) The Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the oil and dispersants are making people sick, and these sick people are dying.
3) Since the dispersants being added to the water make the oil water soluble, it is and coming down as rain, in addition to being in the water and beaches of the Gulf.
4) Pathways of exposure to the chemicals are inhalation, ingestion (eating gulf seafood), skin, and eye contact.
5) The oil/dispersants is causing sick people from Apalachicola, Florida, to Grand Isle, Louisiana, to experience:
A) pissing blood
B) "vomiting dark brown stuff"
C) skin lesions
D) lung damage
E) burning pain in the nose and throat
F) coughing/difficulty breathing
G) pulmonary edema
H) ongoing internal bleeding
J) liver damage
K) kidney damage
M) bleeding from his ears
N) damage to the nervous system
P) paralysis (legs, arms, face, etc…)
Q) failing vision/blindness
R) brain lesions
6) Toxic dispersants are still being used in gulf. The oil leak never stopped (ocean bed fracture beyond repair in the blowout), and dispersants are being used to make the problem "disappear from view".
7) The water and food along the Gulf Coast are not safe.
Conclusion: What do you think would happen to the bonds of the state of Louisiana and Florida if the full scale of the BP oil spill was known? What would happen to the rest of the municipal bond market? And what would happen to the treasury market if the municipal bond market collapsed?
Covering up the BP oil spill has unnaturally extended the life of US debt markets, at a terrible price.
Below are some headlines about what is going on in the gulf of Mexico:
Scientist predicts martial law to be imposed: "Beaches will eventually be closed to everyone besides clean-up vessels" — "Air quality will sharply decline"
March 10th, 2011 at 09:01 PM
LSU professor: "There's nothing there" — Fishermen "telling us that the reefs are just dead"
March 10th, 2011 at 07:24 PM
"A Huge Number": Shrimp tests show 4,000+ ppm petroleum hydrocarbons — Caught last week of Alabama coast (LAB REPORT)
March 10th, 2011 at 06:40 AM
"Most Concerning": Chrysene found in waters off Perdido Key, Florida — Effects include "increased risk of cancer, chromosomal aberrations, genetic damage"
March 9th, 2011 at 10:03 PM
"Red Flag": Oil spill study finds almost HALF of residents suffering "unusual spike" in health symptoms
March 4th, 2011 at 01:45 PM
New York Times article shows why public might want to think twice before trusting the E.P.A.
March 3rd, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Same labs used by FDA and BP are finding "significant amounts" of oil toxins in crabs — Can be directly related to BP's crude (VIDEO)
March 3rd, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Mississippi man's blood tests show extremely high Xylene, Ethylbenzene — Now passing out for an hour at a time (LAB RESULTS)
March 3rd, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Another cleanup worker blinded — Doctor: "I am most certain that the toxins that are in his blood attacked his optic nerves"
March 2nd, 2011 at 01:32 PM
FOX: Woman suffering paralysis in face "induced by heavy metals" — Tests show high levels of benzene, xylene and other chemicals (VIDEO)
March 1st, 2011 at 06:20 AM
100,000's having symptoms from oil disaster — Could be just the tip of the iceberg says physician (VIDEO)
February 28th, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Cleanup worker having SEIZURES after diagnosed with benzene poisoning — Coughing up chunks of meat, black stuff coming out of nose & ears, lost half of eyesight
February 24th, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Scientist: A huge number of people very, very sick around Gulf — I see a total lack of health care (VIDEO)
February 23rd, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Worst flu season I've EVER seen in Louisiana says top doctor — "Shows no signs of letting up"
February 23rd, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Fisherman: "Alarming reports that so many people are ill and remain ill and have the very same symptoms"
February 17th, 2011 at 05:50 PM
22 y/o Paul Doomm to be placed in medically induced coma (VIDEO)
February 16th, 2011 at 06:01 AM
Paper: "Time may never heal the worst of the health concerns of the spill, concerns that those sickened by oil and chemicals can't discard"
February 14th, 2011 at 05:14 AM
People will start dying in large numbers if not addressed now writes top attorney to national media
February 13th, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Five people have died in Grand Isle that had no health problems prior to oil disaster says top official for non-profit
January 17th, 2011 at 09:42 AM
Oil 'Spill' Commission forum: "People call me crying and dying" — "They need medical attention"
January 14th, 2011 at 08:54 AM
Young woman "developed cancer within weeks" after going to Gulf beach — Doctor believes "this was due to direct exposure to chemicals in the dispersants and VOCs"
January 6th, 2011 at 09:02 AM
"It looked like the blood vessels underneath the skin's surface were literally breaking and the blood was slowly coming to the surface" (VIDEO)
January 3rd, 2011 at 11:58 AM
At least two suicides linked to BP disaster — "If it wasn't for my children, I probably would have already committed suicide" says shrimper (AUDIO)
December 1st, 2010 at 08:41 AM
Shrimper/War Veteran contemplates losing kids after losing everything else — Wife says "He's taking this harder than he took Iraq, and he was at death's door" (AUDIO)
November 30th, 2010 at 07:34 AM
Toxicologist: "Tests of Gulf shrimp have shown unsafe levels… which can cause liver or kidney damage in a MATTER OF WEEKS"
November 29th, 2010 at 06:28 PM
"Problem is continuing to exacerbate" — 50% of all people survey on Alabama coast "invited to begin treatment"
November 29th, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Hospice gets funding to counsel Gulf residents using "bereavement specialist" — Mission is to provide help "during times of life-limiting illnesses"
November 29th, 2010 at 12:57 PM
Gulf resident's November blood test shows ethylbenzene levels higher than cleanup workers tested in August
November 26th, 2010 at 09:13 AM
Surprise? Congressmen see information that shows Gulf residents are "very sick" and "dying" (VIDEOS)
November 22nd, 2010 at 05:59 AM
Shrimper of 30+ years hospitalized, told by his doctors to "get out of there"
November 21st, 2010 at 12:36 PM
Still, no one is doing anything about health issues — Corexit neurotoxins "eat up the brain" and "it takes out your liver, kidneys and lungs"
November 21st, 2010 at 09:32 AM
Doctor: "Dead people don't talk, dead people don't sue, dead people don't tell the truth, and dead people don't bother BP"
November 9th, 2010 at 12:31 PM
"I'm just trying to survive": Alabama woman's face and neck swollen "three times normal size" after trip to beach in late September (PHOTOS & VIDEO) (she is dead)
November 8th, 2010 at 08:44 AM
Microbiologist: "They've been made ill but most are too frightened to speak out" — "People that are sick are going to be sick for the rest of their lives"
November 5th, 2010 at 06:38 PM
"Every person I was dealing with was sick" says outreach volunteer in Grand Isle — "People that are living there, heaven help them"
November 4th, 2010 at 04:24 PM
Commercial fisherman: Doctor told me "I am Corexit-drunk" — "Everybody in Dauphin Island is sick from this stuff"
November 4th, 2010 at 03:03 PM
Kindra: "My body felt like it was attacking itself" on morning of November 2… "There's people sick everywhere"; Vicki says "last week I felt like I was dying" (VIDEO)
November 4th, 2010 at 09:17 AM
"Dispersants were highly toxic and had left 8 people dead" when eating fish after '09 oil disaster says foundation director - Corexit 9500A and 9527A used
November 3rd, 2010 at 09:18 AM
78 percent concerned over health effects of dispersant — "It's logical" says professor, Corexit is 11 times more toxic than the oil (Mobile, AL)
November 1st, 2010 at 05:07 PM
More Tears: "My lungs are crippled — They found chemicals in my blood stream" (VIDEO)
October 31st, 2010 at 12:27 PM
Getting worse: Toddler with "severe upper respiratory, sinus, and viral infections" — Experts believe linked to oil disaster
October 28th, 2010 at 03:40 PM
Dean Blanchard experiencing symptoms: "Coughing, sore throat, burning eyes, headaches, just like everyone around here feels" — "They are using us like lab rats"
October 28th, 2010 at 01:25 PM
Reporter: Growing number of people with health problems along Gulf — "It's chemical poisoning" (VIDEO)
October 28th, 2010 at 08:35 AM
Vanity Fair: BP disaster "like Chernobyl" to last for "GENERATIONS" — "It's only the beginning"
September 23rd, 2010 at 10:59 AM