Mystery illnesses In Louisiana linked to BP Oil Spill?


The Intel Hub

By Michelle Jones
April 17th, 2011

According to a recent RSOE report, there is an unidentified disease in the state of Louisiana.

When you take a closer look at this report you can see that of the large percent of people are suffering from this unidentified illness, the one thing these patients all have in common is who they are identifying as the culprit – BP and all the toxic chemicals used to “clean up” from the Gulf Coast spill.

Is it possible that BP’s irresponsible and hazardous use of millions of gallons of toxic dispersant is now catching up to them, as it seems signs of illness are starting to show in the workers BP hired to help clean up their catastrophic oil spill?

A quick rundown of three cases of BP workers and citizens in the area who seem to have been sickened by Corexit provides a clear picture.

Clayton Matherne, one of hundreds of sick BP workers has cried out for help yet BP continues to claim their clean up job is done.

Children seem to have also been sickened so badly that it outright ridiculous to downplay the toxicity of Corexit.

When I was invited to attend Project Gulf Impact’s conference at Seattle University I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was I able to finally meet PGI, I was able to speak to numerous fisherman who have literally had their lives destroyed by BP and their toxic dispersant.

This mans 10 year old child has most likely been sickened by Corexit while at the same time the corporate media has declared the disaster over. This is happening right here in America!

Jamie Simon worked for 6 months as a sort of house mother on a barge for the men who were fighting to save the marshes from the toxic oil that was washing ashore.

She cooked, cleaned and washed clothing of those who were laying booms and skimming oil. Now Jamie, along with a large percentage of residents from Raceland, a small coastal town in Louisiana, are experiencing a wide range of physical symptoms that have left them unable to work.

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The symptoms reported include racing heartbeat, vomiting, dizziness, ear infections, swollen throat, poor sight in one eye and loss of memory. These symptoms may seem very broad and general, but according to a study on toxic chemical poisonings these symptoms are common and valid. The study goes even further by stating that “Poisoning by chemical agents is nothing more than chemically induced disease, and the symptoms of chemical poisoning often are the same as symptoms caused by biological agents such as bacteria or viruses.”

It is clear that BP may have to re-evaluate the safety of their dispersants which one BP official described as being “as safe as dawn dish soap.”

Is BP responsible for introducing a new chemical induced disease into this community? After all they did tell Ms. Simon that the chemicals she was exposed to were as safe as dawn dishwashing soap.

So how many other countries have banned the use of this “Dawn dish soap?” How many other countries have declared this “Dawn dish soap” too toxic to justify its use to disperse oil spills and its effects on destroying the environment if not controlled and contained?

The means to an end cannot justify the use of this highly toxic dispersant, in fact most countries have gone so far as to put a ban on its use, allowing for criminal charges if the ban is not upheld by those in charge of cleaning up oil spills.

Furthermore, Corexit has earned the highest EPA warning label for toxicity (as far as I can tell Dawn dish soap bares no EPA warnings on their label) which means the effects of the toxic chemicals to the eye are corrosive resulting in irreversible destruction of ocular tissue and other tissue with corneal involvement. I am not a doctor but that seems to possibly explain the vision problems that have been reported.

Why didn’t the EPA stop BP from using such a toxic dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico? What is the EPA’s justification for allowing such an action?  According to the EPA website, during the Deep Horizon event the long term effects of Corexit were “unknown” yet there were dozens upon dozens of documented studies covering a wide range of subjects from humans to snails that have documented and recorded the long term effects of this deadly chemical, yet somehow the EPA claimed that the long term effects were unknown.

Perhaps the EPA felt that using this deadly chemical was justified due to the toxicity of crude oil is high and its impact if left to wash on shore devastating.

In a nut shell, it is possible that the EPA and BP felt that overall the use of Corexit posed less of a toxic environment than leaving the crude oil untreated.

This sounds reasonable until you look at the effects of the toxicity of oil after being treated with Corexit. Corexit alone is lethal in as little as 2.6 parts per million where oil is lethal at 11 parts per million which results in Corexit being four times more toxic than crude oil.

By introducing Corexit to crude oil you immediately increase the toxicity level by 11x parts per million. As the environment and health of the coastal ecosystem were being threatened by crude oil, it seems the EPA felt the use of dispersants was warranted to lessen the hazardous effects the crude oil would have if nothing was done to stop it from reaching the shorelines.

The results were catastrophic as well over 2 million gallons of Corexit was dispersed in the gulf coast.

It’s interesting to note that a document found on the World Health Organization (WHO) web site titled,”Public Health and Chemical Incidents” states that “evidence from around the world is that the polluter rarely pays, even when the polluter has been identified and is clearly at fault, the legal process of bringing an action can take many years. It is usual, therefore, for national or local governments to pay for the majority of the costs of chemical incidents that affect the public and public areas”

This document goes on to further express an alarming fact about corporations and the public health, stating that during a chemical incident, each entity involved in the disaster is participating in a role that leans toward the best interest of their agency or affiliation. This leaves the public vulnerable to short and long term medical effects that are not attributed to the incident itself.

“There is often no person or organization with the time or expertise to consider the impact of an action or decision on the health and well-being of the local population. This means that the best courses of action are not considered or researched, people are not registered to be followed up, and the long term health effects are not investigated.”

It seems that in the case of BP and the Horizon oil spill, WHO was on target and correct in their assessment of what typically happens in a chemical incident. Billions of tax dollars have been and will continue to be spent in clean up, restoration and so forth. Each dollar will be tracked and attributed to the oil spill. But what about the billions that will be spent in health care? The billions that will be spent treating those who were exposed to the toxic Corexit dispersant or the crude oil toxicity levels themselves?

What about the millions of people on the gulf coast who might suffer from vague symptoms that allow BP to shirk the responsibility of their illnesses and claim those illnesses are not attributed to their activities in the Gulf Coast? As WHO has stated there is no entity that over sees the health and long term health of the population in chemical incidents, and therefore a majority of these people will be treated for their symptoms at the cost of private and government insurers with the long term cost passed down to the victims themselves.

It’s time for our health care community to stand up and take action. It’s time the doctors in the Gulf Coast stop labeling the illnesses of those on the Gulf Coast as “unidentified” and start calling it what it is. They could call it ” Horizon Disease” or “BP disease” anything but unidentified.

With proper blood samples, I believer that local health care doctors and specialists around the Gulf Coast can make a connection between these peoples’ illnesses and the use of Corexit on the BP oil spill. With proper collaboration, our Gulf Coast health care professionals have an opportunity to hold those responsible for wide spread illness accountable.


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