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New Evidence Links BP to Health Crisis in the Gulf

Severe headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, burning eyes and throat, earache and chest pains — and that’s just the beginning.

BP’s stock has already bounced back. The media has mostly moved on. But the long-term health impacts on Gulf Coast residents from the catastrophic oil spill are only beginning.

Exhibit A, says chemist Wilma Subra of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, is a recent evaluation she performed of blood sample analyses from eight BP cleanup workers and residents in Alabama and Florida.

Originally collected on four separate dates throughout August, all the blood samples — from three females, age 44, 46 and 51, and five males, age 30, 46, 48, 51 and 59 — contained dangerously high levels of volatile organic chemicals found in BP crude oil, including Ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene and Hexane, Subra explained during a wide-ranging interview with Alternet.

She clarified that the subjects whose blood was analyzed had been exposed to the oil for at least three full months before samples were collected on August 2, 3, 12 and 18.

Testing for the same chemical markers, Subra hunted down BP’s crude fingerprints out in the field all along the coast, in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’s panhandle.

“I’ve found there’s still huge amounts of BP crude oil on the sediment soils, in the wetlands, on the vegetation, and in the tissue in the oysters, crabs and mussels.”

The acute health impacts of these chemicals include severe headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, burning eyes and throat, earache and chest pains.

Subra, who is also a microbiologist and the recipient of a 1999 MacArthur Fellows “genius grant” for her environmental work, pointed out that coastal residents have already entered an early phase of long-term exposure, where they’re experiencing chronic effects such as liver, kidney and central nervous system damage, decreased lung function and heart disease.

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1 comment to New Evidence Links BP to Health Crisis in the Gulf

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    Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

    While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

    BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    More:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

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