Since the oil spill in the Gulf began in April, there have been thousands of workers deployed to aid in cleanup efforts. At least 200 of these workers have been hospitalized as a result of exposure to the oil and dispersants. The symptoms the workers are experiencing are typical of those associated with chemical exposure and include headaches, nausea, gastro intestinal distress, respiratory problems, and the like. While these symptoms tend to subside once the exposure to the oil and dispersants ends, many of the workers and health officials worry about the long-term effects of exposure.
To date, there is little information on the long term effects of the dispersants, especially given the large quantities being pumped into and sprayed in the Gulf. The New York Times has reported that the “EPA’s testing has yet to examine the toxicity of dispersants when mixed with crude oil,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told Senators that she is “unaware of any research” on the effects of applying the chemicals in the massive volume that has entered the Gulf region. She said further that “It’s not the body of testing you would want, given the historic nature of the ongoing oil leak.” There are some studies that reveal the constituents of the oil and the dispersants are cancer causing. For example, 2-butoxyethanol is a component of Corexit, the dispersant being used in the Gulf. This chemical is a pesticide that is highly toxic to humans and wildlife, causing cancer, liver and kidney damage, birth defects and other reproductive side effects. The dispersant also contains arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and mercury, among other chemicals.
As a result of the unprecedented volume of oil and dispersants in the Gulf, the people and the environment in the region are now part of a giant science experiment where the long-term effects will not be known for some time. Our firm’s Toxic Tort Section is actively investigating claims for clean-up workers and others who have become ill after exposure to the oil and dispersants.
If you need additional information regarding illnesses associated with the oil spill cleanup, contact Rhon Jones, Parker Miller or Brantley Fry in our firm at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com, Parker.Miller@beasleyallen.com or Brantley.Fry@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: New Orleans Times Picayune, U.S. CDC, NY Times
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.