The volunteer workers, the raincoat covered fishermen and other that have been working without HAZMAT gear or respirators to help clean up the toxic pollutants from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico . Seems they have been told that their health is not at risk!
Seems like a repeat of what workers were told after the Exxon Valdez accident off the coast of Alaska. However, way too many workers came down with “flu or cold like symptoms” from breathing and absorbing the toxic fumes from the oil spill. Who will pick up the long term health bill for the health hazards they are being exposed to? How much will they suffer for helping out?
Fishermen have never seen the results from the air-quality monitoring patches some of them wear on their rain gear when they are out booming and skimming the giant oil slick. However, more and more fishermen are suffering from bad headaches, burning eyes, persistent coughs, sore throats, stuffy sinuses, nausea, and dizziness. They know BP is not being up front with them.
Based on air monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a Louisiana coastal community, those workers seem to be correct. The EPA findings show that airborne levels of toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, for instance, now far exceed safety standards for human exposure.
Below are the Louisiana BPA findings
Levels of airborne chemicals have far exceeded state standards and what’s considered safe for human exposure.
- hydrogen sulfide detected at concentrations more than 100 times greater than the level known to cause physical reactions in people. The health effects of hydrogen sulfide exposure are eye and respiratory irritation as well as nausea, dizziness, confusion and headache.
The concentration threshold for people to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion. But as recently as last Thursday, the EPA measured levels at 1,000 ppb. The highest levels of airborne hydrogen sulfide measured so far were on May 3, at 1,192 ppb.
- Levels of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) far exceed the ambient air standards.
VOCs cause acute physical health symptoms including eye, skin and respiratory irritation as well as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and confusion.
Louisiana’s ambient air standard for the VOC benzene, for example, is 3.76 ppb, while its standard for methylene chloride is 61.25 ppb. Long-term exposure to airborne benzene has been linked to cancer, while the EPA considers methylene chloride a probable carcinogen.
Air testing results show VOC concentrations far above these state standards. On May 6, for example, the EPA measured VOCs at levels of 483 ppb. The highest levels detected to date were on April 30, at 3,084 ppb, following by May 2, at 3,416 ppb. For more information
Who will pay these long term health price for these workers dedication? Will BP or the Federal Government?
Excerpts courtesy of SouthernStudies.org
Excerpts courtesy of The Huffingtonpost.com
Image courtesy of http://www.oilism.com/oil/.jpg