Increasing numbers of people near the Gulf Coast are suffering from symptoms that doctors and toxicologists are linking to chemicals from the BP oil disaster that began last summer. The blowout of the Macondo well gushed at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. BP responded by using at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic dispersant to sink the oil. Dr. Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor, said. “People are being made sick in the Gulf because of the unprecedented release of oil and toxic chemicals from this past summer in response to BP’s disaster.” Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact. Health impacts include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitization, hypertension, central nervous system (CNS) depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. The chemicals are also teratogenic, mutagenic and carcinogenic.
Title: BP blamed for Toxification
Publication: Al Jazeera English, November 9, 2010
Author: Dahr Jamail
Faculty Evaluator: Ervand Peterson, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Keith Garrett (Sonoma State University)