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Gulf Oil Dispersants Health Problems

Have You Been Exposed to Dispersants Used on the BP Oil Spill?

Concerns are growing that the dispersants BP is applying to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be making people sick. The dispersants used by BP, called Corexit, were banned in Britain a decade ago because of their toxicity. Yet BP has been using more Corexit dispersants for this disaster than have ever been used before.

Corexit, the line of dispersants used by BP in unprecedented amounts to fight the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is known to be toxic to both human beings and the environment. In fact, many environmentalists believe that using these dispersants will make the oil spill even more damaging to the fragile Gulf Coast ecosystem. Sadly, BP continues to use Corexit despite these concerns.

Dispersants' dangers include dryness of skin and possible dermatitis, and lung damage if inhaled. Unfortunately, the long-term health effects of these chemicals have not been well-studied. If you are among the workers responding to the BP oil spill, and have suffered from rashes, nausea, headaches and breathing problems, Corexit exposure could be to blame.

Many workers involved in the BP oil spill cleanup have reported illnesses that could be the result of exposure to Corexit chemicals. Symptoms include rashes, nausea, headaches and breathing problems. If you believe these chemicals made you sick, we would like to hear from you.

Our BP oil spill lawyers are offering free consultations to anyone who may have been sickened because of exposure to Corexit chemicals. If you are suffering symptoms, please call us today to protect your legal rights.

Corexit Dispersants

The Corexit dispersant line was banned in Britain a decade ago because laboratory tests found them harmful to sea life that inhabits rocky shores. Safety documents for the chemicals warn that they must be handled with great care in their original form, should not touch the skin and can damage lungs. The documents state that the potential environmental hazard is “moderate,” but “low” when used as directed at sea.

The safety label for Corexit dispersants warn that they must be handled with great care in their original form, should not touch the skin and can damage lungs. The documents state that the potential environmental hazard is “moderate,” but “low” when used as directed at sea.

During the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup in Alaska, some dispersants were manually sprayed by workers on oiled beaches. One of these included a variant of Corexit. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified the 2-butoxyethanol in Corexit to be a causal agent in the health problems experienced by cleanup workers after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. These ailments included respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

In Louisiana, at least 162 people have reported illnesses believed to be related to the BP oil spill. Of these, 128 involved workers who were either on oil rigs or who were involved in clean-up efforts. A report issued by the state in June said some of the workers reporting illnesses appear to have been exposed to fumes from dispersants that were deployed in the Gulf.

In the Gulf, Corexit dispersants have been used in ways never done before. Prior to this spill, they were generally used in much smaller amounts to treat far smaller spills. In this disaster, BP has been spraying far more than the recommended daily level of 15,000 gallons beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. As of this writing, a total of 1.47 million gallons of dispersant have been applied to the gushing oil so far.

In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered BP to find a less toxic alternative to Corexit. But that never happened. A month later, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that her agency would continue allowing the dispersant use because “dispersants are one tool in a situation that could not be more urgent.” She acknowledged that using the chemicals was a trade-off.

Hazards of Chemical Dispersants

In Louisiana, at least 162 people have reported illnesses believed to be related to the BP oil spill. Of these, 128 involved workers who were either on oil rigs or who were involved in clean-up efforts. A report issued by the state in June said some of the workers reporting illnesses appear to have been exposed to fumes from dispersants that were deployed in the Gulf. Dispersants' dangers include dryness of skin and possible dermatitis, and lung damage if inhaled. Unfortunately, the long-term health effects of these chemicals have not been studied.

Environmentalists also are worried that the use of Corexit could be making the oil more toxic, and may be helping to distribute it to a more widespread area. Federal scientists have now confirmed plumes of tiny oil droplets that stretch for miles underwater. Scientists say such droplets are consistent with chemically dispersed oil. These droplets have also been found in shallower waters. That means the oil can be blown around more easily by wind, which could cause more oil to reach the shoreline.

No one knows how this will affect the ecology of the Gulf. At one Congressional hearing in June, an expert testified that crustaceans, algae and fish larvae find low concentrations of Corexit toxic. In some cases, the use of the dispersant could make it easier for some marine life to absorb the oil.

Legal Help for Victims of BP Oil Spill Dispersants

Our firm is working now to investigate the consequences of BP's dispersant use on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. If you were exposed to these chemicals, and are now experiencing health problems, we want to help. Please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to arrange for a free consultation.



 

Gulf Oil Dispersants Health ProblemsRSS Feed

BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund Claimants May be Asked to Transfer Legal Rights

Nov 18, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
It’s already been determined that victims of the BP oil spill who accept a payment for final damages from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility will have to waive their right to sue the oil company. However, according to a Reuters report, claimants may also soon be required to transfer to BP their right to sue other defendants deemed to have partial responsibility for the disaster. Those other defendants would include Transocean LTD., owner of the doomed Deepwater Horizon oil rig, and...

BP Oil Spill Report Questions Rig Workers' Training

Nov 17, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
A report on the BP oil spill from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Research Council (NRE) has concluded that “an insufficient consideration of risk and a lack of operating discipline” contributed to the disaster. The interim report also says that important decisions made by key personnel aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig “raise questions about the adequacy of operating knowledge” on the part of those individuals. The two groups are...

BP Oil Spill Could Have Long-Term Impacts on Wildlife, Scientists Say

Nov 11, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
BP Oil Spill On Gulf of Mexico A group of scientists says the long-term affects of the BP oil spill on Gulf of Mexico wildlife are not yet apparent, and that the federal government needs remain on guard for signs of collapse of species in the future. The scientists, a total of 40 from academia, government agencies and nonprofit groups, were attendees at a symposium at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida to discuss long-term responses to the disaster. The symposium was...

BP Oil Spill Panel Commissioners Fault Lack of Safety Culture

Nov 10, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
The White House BP oil spill commission has faulted the oil company and its partners on the doomed Deepwater Horizon oil rig over a complacent safety culture. The commission also said that BP, Transocean and Halliburton personnel made serious mistakes prior to the April 20 explosion aboard Deepwater Horizon that led to the worst offshore oil disaster in US history. Bill Reilly, the commission’s Republican co-chair, said in his opening statements yesterday that each company was...

Dead Coral Found Near BP Oil Spill

Nov 5, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
Dead And Dying Corals Just 7 miles from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, scientist are finding dead and dying coral. Not surprisingly, the BP oil spill is considered a prime suspect in the coral die-off. Scientist aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) ship Ronald H. Brown, just returned Thursday from a three-week cruise studying coral reef in the northern Gulf of Mexico, according to Nola.com. The coral expedition was planned before the oil spill, so its...

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