Less than one year after the worst oil mishap in U.S. history, BP began running televised commercials featuring cheerful Gulf of Mexico fishermen as if the 185 million gallons of oil from the BP oil spill of 2010 was just a tiny drop in a big ocean that was quickly cleaned up. The commercials painted a picture indicating that residents and the coasts were quickly restored to health and the seafood was safe to eat. The reality is far from this.
It may take years to determine the full effects from the toxic gusher and the chemical dispersant, Corexit that BP used despite EPA safety concerns. Corexit, utilized in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, was linked to respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.
Gulf seafood including oysters, crabs, shrimp and mussels contained traces of the dispersant and petroleum hydrocarbons nearly one year after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion killed 11 workers and set off a nearly three month long oil gusher.
Gulf area doctors report they have found volatile organic compounds in patients’ bloodstreams, even those inland. They worry about long latency periods for cancer and brain degeneration. During the cleanup workers were seen passed out in boats as toxic fumes wafted over the water and dead wildlife floated in it. Chemicals in the air and water have been linked to damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs, digestive tract and muscles.
Record numbers of baby and stillborn dolphins continued to wash up on Gulf shores 12 months after the initial event.
Source: Truthout.org, Jan, 12, 2011
Title: The Tragic State of the Gulf of Mexico: Sampling Reveals Oil and Dispersants on Mississippi Coast
Source: Al Jazeera English, Jan. 5, 2011
Title: Illnesses linked to BP oil disaster; Doctor attributes widespread sickness to toxic chemicals from the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe.
Student Researchers: Rashanah Baldwin, Maureen Foley, Monica Macellari
, DePaul University
Faculty Evaluator: Marla Donato, DePaul University