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BP Lies about Air Toxicity as Gulf Workers Are Hospitalized

Von: pautrey (rpautrey2@gmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 02.06.2010 21:07
Message-ID: <179c3ea5-d7b0-4fb2-9d30-8cf72cab145a@q23g2000vba.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.health
Earth Matters

BP Lies about Air Toxicity as Gulf Workers Are Hospitalized

June 1, 2010
Elizabeth Grossman

As of Saturday afternoon, May 29th, ten oil spill clean-up workers had
been admitted to West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) in Marrero,
Louisiana. All but two have been hospitalized suffering from chest
pains, dizziness, headaches and nausea. One crewmember admitted on the
29th had fallen and hit his head on a stair after a wave mixed with
oil had washed onto a deck, hospital spokesperson Taslin Alonzo told
me. The other, who was working on what Alonzo called “an oil rig,” was
suffering from hypertension. All crewmembers hospitalized have long
experience working on the water, according to Alonzo.

The two crewmembers hospitalized on May 28th had been working on the
water about an hour south of Venice, Louisiana near where oil burns
have been conducted, according to Alonzo. The workers complained of
breathing fumes from oil burning the day before, she said, and they
also believed they’d been sprayed with chemical dispersant.

Emergency room doctors thought these symptoms could result from
dehydration. “They’ve been out working 20 to 30 days in a row,” she
said. But the thought was, Alonzo said, that the symptoms were caused
by some kind of chemical irritant. When asked if the hospital tested
incoming cases like these for evidence of chemical exposure, Alonzo
told me that it doesn’t. “We just treat the symptoms,” she said.

As of Sunday morning May 30th, the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint
Information Center (JIC) had issued no notice of the response workers
hospitalized on the 29th. But the JIC announced via press release on
the evening of the 28th that two crewmen from two controlled burn
fleet vessels were being medevaced after experiencing chest pains.

“At the time of the medical emergencies, there was no controlled
burning of oil being conducted. The two vessels were actively
searching for oil concentrations for future burns….Aerial dispersants
have been used in the area of the burn fleet, but as per safety
restrictions, no dispersants are deployed within two miles of any
vessel or platform,” says the JIC press release.

Yet at a May 28th press briefing, BP COO Doug Sutttles announced that
thirteen controlled burns had taken place that day. And according to
the JIC, between May 26 and 29, total dispersant use increased from
more than 840,000 to 910,000 gallons - over 30,000 of which were
applied on the surface.

When I called the JIC on the 29th for further details of the medical
evacuation, BP spokesperson John Curry told me, “No one had been
medevac’d on Friday” and that “no helicopter was involved.” But Wes
Jefferson Medical Center spokesperson Alonzo emailed me shortly
thereafter saying of the oil spill responders hospitalized Friday,
“They were brought by helicopter.”

When asked about the number and location of controlled burns, Curry
told me only one burn had been conducted on the 28th. When I said
Suttles had reported a different number, Curry replied by saying,
“Seven?” When I told him the number was thirteen and that I’d checked
my notes against the video of the briefing, Curry said to “go” with
that number. Asked if there is an accurate tally of controlled burns
Curry referred me to the Deepwater Horizon response website “Current
Operations” page. But there is no controlled burn information listed.

The burns, Curry explained, are being conducted near the Deepwater
Horizon drill rig site - about 40 miles southeast of Venice - where
the greatest concentration of oil is. “You can only do burns where
there’s the greatest concentration of oil,” said Curry.

If the workers who were taken ill on the 28th were scouting sites for
future burns, they would have been in the vicinity of both heavy oil
concentration and of previous burns - including those conducted that

Crude oil contains a mixture of volatile hydrocarbon compounds,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that typically include benzene,
toluene, and xylene. Symptoms of exposure to these petroleum compounds
include dizziness, headaches, nausea, and rapid heat beat. Kerosene -
a component of the dispersants being used in the Gulf - exposure
causes similar symptoms.

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