Tarballs on beaches, oil-covered wildlife, and destroyed lives and livelihoods aren’t the only effects from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. It is being reported that the health effects of the dispersants BP used to “clean up” the oil may be getting worse rather than going away.
Al Jazeera has discovered that the next disaster along the Gulf may be a wide-spread health crisis.
“Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons
of widely banned toxic dispersants, which according to chemist Bob Naman, create
an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. And dispersed, weathered
oil continues to flow ashore daily.
Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.
According to Naman, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this
toxic mix are making people sick. PAHs contain compounds that have been
identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.”
People are suffering now and may in the future, and it is not at all clear how these people will be guaranteed health care or compensation. The $20 billion compensation fund set up by BP does not compensate victims for health problems, and only deals with lost income. The issue of long-term health effects and corporate liability for those impacts will likely remain unresolved for many years.
Add this to another of the many questions about how exactly BP plans to “make things right.” Learn more about the fight for justice in the gulf by viewing AFJ’s short documentary film, Crude Justice, at www.CrudeJustice.org