Were you sickened because of your work in the BP oil spill cleanup? If so, you are not alone. Nearly a year after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion spawned the horrific BP oil spill, many oil spill cleanup workers are suffering from respiratory ailments, dizziness, elevated blood pressure, rashes and chemical burns from toxic materials used in the cleanup. Many of the components that made up the spilled oil, as well as the chemicals used to disperse it, have been tied to long-term health effects, including birth defects and cancer.
If you believe your health was damaged because of BP oil spill cleanup work, you may be entitled to receive compensation from BP and others found responsible for this disaster. In addition to compensation for unpaid wages and bodily harm, sickened BP oil spill cleanup workers may be entitled to punitive damages and medical monitoring. Our BP oil spill health claims lawyers are offering free case evaluations to BP oil spill cleanup workers who are still suffering health effects from this disaster. To learn how we can help you receive compensation for your injuries, please contact our BP oil spill health claims lawyers today.
BP Oil Spill Health Impacts
More than 4.1 million barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank while drilling a BP well off the Louisiana coast in April 2010. To combat the spill, more than 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants were sprayed over or injected into Gulf waters to break up the oil. A year later, BP oil spill cleanup workers are beginning to see the health effects from exposure to these toxic substances. While some of these diseases and conditions may be evident now, others will likely appear months or years later.
According to a review published in The New England Journal of Medicine in April 2011, the likelihood of serious long-term problems from components of the BP oil is low for residents and onshore cleanup workers. However, the authors raised concerns about cleanup workers involved in offshore efforts, who were exposed to the oil at its freshest. Unfortunately, there have been few studies of longer term health consequences in such workers, the review said. According to the review, crude oils contain over a thousand different hydrocarbons and, depending on the source of the oil, vary greatly in the relative amounts of individual hydrocarbons and trace metal and sulfur content. Some crude-oil components cause respiratory, hepatic, renal, endocrine, neurologic, hematologic, or other systemic effects. Components of particular concern include benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), both known carcinogens.
Another health concern is posed by the dispersant used to break up the spill. One dispersant used early in the spill contained 2-butoxyethanol, which is known to cause hemolytic anemia and hepatic angiosarcoma in rodents. Moderate respiratory exposure to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, skin or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema and coma.
Some cleanup workers who have suffered health problems reported accidentally touching or being sprayed with the dispersants used to break up the spill. Chemical-induced symptoms in cleanup workers commonly reported included upper respiratory tract illnesses, throat and eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, the review said.
Legal Help for Sickened BP Oil Spill Cleanup Workers
If you are a BP oil spill cleanup worker, and your health has been ruined, you have valuable legal rights. To learn how our BP oil spill health claims lawyers can help you, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.