Will the Oil Spill Effect You?

By now just about everyone has heard about the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We are now into the second month of oil spilling into the waters. How will this effect you? If you are not an off-shore worker you may be thinking “probably not much”. You may be wrong. Because this particular spill is actually located nearly a mile below the surface of the water, it’s toxicity effects the entire ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is plentiful life in the deep sea that’s in danger: fish, deep-sea corals, gelatinous zooplankton like jellyfish, and benthic-dwelling sharks, not to mention the diverse communites of shrimp, crabs, worms, and other critters that live there. “It’s like a lush jungle down there,” Joye says. (Dr. Samantha (Mandy) B. Joye, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia) Even if oil exposure doesn’t kill these organisms, it could have chronic, long-term effects, like impaired growth or reproduction. Over time, any impact on the deep-sea communities is likely to have more broad effects, since the whole ocean is connected by various biological processes. “All the different zones of life are interactive in one way or another,” says Lisa Levin, a marine ecologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

What this means is that in the short term, workers and residents close to the spill will be exposed to vapors produced, or released by the oil and associated gases. In the long term, workers, residents and those who eat food from the Gulf of Mexico could be exposed to a food supply contaminated by oil by-products such as arsenic, lead, mercury, zinc, chromium-6 and other toxic elements.  Will this be enough to actually harm a person? At this point no one really knows – it is too soon to tell.


2 Responses to “Will the Oil Spill Effect You?”

  1. 1 Merle Savage June 8, 2010 at 12:12 am

    The crude oil is toxic, and anyone who cleans the oily Gulf beaches needs to know the danger. Don’t allow the workers to become BP’s Collateral Damaged, like Exxon.
    The workers who are cleaning up the oil in the Gulf need to be aware of the chemicals that will be used. I am one of the 11,000+ cleanup workers from the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), who is suffering from health issues from that toxic cleanup, without compensation from Exxon.
    I am Merle Savage, a female general foreman during the EVOS beach cleanup in 1989, which turned into 20 years of extensive health deterioration for me and 10,000+ workers. Dr. Riki Ott visited me in 2007 to explain about the toxic spraying on the beaches, and informed me that Exxon’s medical records that surfaced in litigation by sick workers in 1994, had been sealed from the public, making it impossible to hold Exxon responsible for their actions. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5632208859935499100
    Beach crews breathed in crude oil that splashed off the rocks and into the air — the toxic exposure turned into chronic breathing conditions, central nervous system problems, neurological impairment, chronic respiratory disease, leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, liver damage, and blood disease. http://www.silenceinthesound.com/stories.shtml

  2. 2 expertox June 11, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Here is a link to a new article by Fast Company, Secret Ingredients in Corexit Oil Dispersant are Carcinogenic and Absorbed Through the Skin http://www.fastcompany.com/1658530/epa-reveals-ingredients-in-corexit-oil-dispersant. Merle, you are also mentioned in this article.

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