A scientist at the University of New Orleans says people with direct contact to the oil spill are having serious health problems which could be felt for decades to come.
Apparently, as goes marine life, so goes human beings in contact with the heavy metals and PAH’s associated with the oil. Dr. Patricia Williams, a UNO scientist with the Pontchartrain Institute of Environmental Sciences, reports, “There are voluminous studies after oil spills, especially with the Exxon Valdez, that shows a syndrome of impairment of the heart development, yolk development and changes in curvature of the spine in different fish species,” said Williams, “I’ve interviewed tar ball workers and what we’re finding is that any problem we’re seeing in wildlife, we’re seeing in humans, with reproductive and neurological problems.”
She says the people who spent weeks cleaning beaches and on boats near oil burn offs are the most at risk and are already experiencing problems.
BP reports it is spending $500 million on a more definitive study to look at long-term impacts on both human and marine populations, but Dr. Williams insists she’s seen enough.
“We’re talking about a diverse group of chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, that interact with each other,” said Dr. Williams. “They are powerful carcinogens and powerful reproductive toxins.”
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