Tuesday, June 01, 2010


(NYT photo May29th)
June 1st Updates regarding Dispersant
Dr.Seth Forman speaks to Risks of Gulf related to Oil and Dispersant as it reaches beaches on MSNBC this morning June2nd.(H/t to @WhoDat35 for headsup on this video.)

Please do read First Dispersant Post Written covering May13th thru May30th, regarding Dispersant Questions. Since that time More Questions have arisen, and Clean Up Workers have gotten sick. That Question has basic information regarding COREXIT and original EPA tests and COREXIT ingredients. This earlier post also has BP's responses to concerns (video), their pronouncement that the Workers were sick from Heat and Food Poisoning, announced the same day as Worker Floating Camps were announced.
Today as more Clean Up Workers and also families in region come forth with Health Complaints, many are starting to ask Questions regarding the use of Dispersant COREXIT ( both forms). The Dispersant has not only been sprayed from low flying planes but also it is now being pumped to the Seabed by the Oil Leak in attempt to break up the Oil. ( This apparently started over the weekend and was reported on MSNBC and CNN , I will post BP announcement when I can find it.).

Local Media reported over weekend of Shrimpers,now are Clean Up workers that got sick over the weekend after low flying planes flew over spraying dispersant.

At the same time that people are coming forth with Health issues, BP is going ahead and planning to set up Floating Clean Up Worker Camps ( Floatels) and also Tent Cities ( using Trailers near the Marshes). It is unclear as to whether DHHS or OSHA or NIOSH has approved this plan. Immersing these workers with 12 hours shifts then having them live in quarters close to the Camps or on Boats on the Contaminated waters seems that it would pose exposure risks. After examining the OSHA and NIOSH manuals I am more confused as to whether OSHA has set up precautions for this Specific Dispersant or if it is being evaluated. Media ( CNN,NBC,ABC ) are all announcing that OSHA is now studying/examing the Health Complaints. OSHA does have an Oil Clean Up Worker Manual ( link below) and a Precaution Fact Sheet that addresses Oil and Hydrocarbon and Some Solvent Precautions.

The Clean Up Workers in photos, photo ops and footage on different media, have shown the workers wearing a variety of gear and gloves and hats. Yet the workers are not seen with protective respiratory masks, or respirators. Yet OSHA manuals and handouts do recommend respiratory protection if needed or if symptoms present. ( As a Nurse I am not sure of safety of waiting for Symptoms could be too late.). As posted below it was reported in Papers and CNN that Workers are not allowed to ask for respiratory masks and if they do they are harassed or threatened or even fired. That issue must be investigated and sooner than later to protect the workers. From reading different articles it is also concerning whether they really do have to work 12 hour shifts, do they have access to medical care and also fluids. From the photos I have seen also the Hazmat clothing raises questions, it appears they are given nice hats and some skin covering,but I did not see Masks or Heavy Gloves in the photos.

As of Sunday Night May 29th, it was announced that DHHS is going to post a Mobile Clinic to address Worker Safety Issues and Resident Health Complaints related to the Oilspill this announcement was made Day 41, and the Trailer arrived today June 1st. As the situation in the Gulf progresses it would seen that the DHHS might need to employ more Mobile Medical Units. Many of the Shrimper,Fishing families are without extra funds for medical bills at this time, and their complaints do need to be assessed.Rep.Melancon worked hard to get the Medical help that was so needed. ( This photo is from his visit to the van as it arrived today June1st).

*** Update from June 1st : NBC evening News Dr.Nancy Snyderman stated that OSHA was investigating Workers Health Concerns, the same evening ABC Chris Cuomo on Nightline reported on the Worker's Complaints and health concerns.I will post video of both when available. CNN has been reporting consistantly-video is on other post.***
Other Dispersant Issues related to the Gulf.
{1} If more than 750,000 gallons of the Dispersant have been deployed and sprayed over the water,EPA needs to be sure to be testing for it in the Water Column and the sediments by the Shorelines. From the Test results of May 4th in other dispersant post, EPA was not testing for Dispersant in water or sediments. Someone needs to make sure that they do, another concern is that the Water Column results were low on hydrocarbons and oil. which says that the Dispersant is actually possibly creating inaccurate results.

There have been Fish Kills on some of the Barrier Islands, Dauphin Island and even over to Waveland so see attached photos from NYT of massive fish kills from this past week.It would be helpful if EPA would make sure the Dead Fish and the Water Column were tested for the Dispersant Ingredients, from solvents, Kerosene, heavy metals to cyanide.Of the Dead Dolphins, Birds,Turtles that have been recovered, not all were oiled, it is critical that Some Agency test for the Dispersants.( In the beginning BP was to be called for animal pickup and rescues, and groups were Contracted to take care of the injured animals. It is Day 43 and it is unclear if All animals are being properly necropsied.

The Testing of the Food and Water is critical as the Dispersant at this point could be entering the Food Chain. NOAA has been monitoring the Oil Spill and expanding the Maps for No Fishing, which should help prevent anyone from eating or catching contaminated seafood. At this point it would be wise to test and check all species for the Oil and Dispersant Damage. Even with extensive reading, I am confused whether Federal Fish and Wildlife is testing or monitoring, I will update when I have more data.
Workers on Grand Ilse being given hats and other gear. No Masks given out ( also don't see sturdy gloves in photo).
Must Read Articles Regarding Worker Safety Issues.
{1} For anyone that has wondered if BP has a Safety problem or history of Violations this article by Jason Leopold for Truthout , "BP Accused of Violating Safety Regulations at US Refineries, Endangering Employees' Lives"(May4.2010) and is a must read as they do have a problem with Safety Violations that is worrisome, especially as the Government has been allowing them to manage the spill but also the Clean Up.Their OSHA track record is worrisome at best. As BP now plans "Worker Camps" it is time for someone to monitor them.
{2} Jay Rosen posted regarding the situation that BP made fishermen sign a contract banning them from speaking to media about what they saw on the job. That also raises questions as to whether that contract was a way or preventing the workers from speaking to Health Issues or Working Conditions. ( Especially after we have heard that workers were threatened for requesting Respiratory Masks.
{3} Thom Hartmand has a post on COREXIT that explains more regarding the Dispersant and is a Must Read.
Clean Up Workers Resources and Dispersant Information
{1} OSHA 's Oil Clean Up Manual
{2} NIEHS has partnered with OSHA re. Clean Up Workers
{3} OSHA Oil Precaution Sheet (helpful for Fumes,Oil)
{4} NEW DOCUMENT ::: COREXIT Dispersant CDC/NIOSH ( UPDATED May19,2010) does address Respiratory Issues/Respirator requirements,Precautions.
{5} Federal Law: 40CFR300 addresses
Marine oil spill response is organized and managed according to the regulations found in 40 CFR 300, the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).
{6} Oil Pollution Act 1990 (does not fully address safety of Dispersant use for workers or ecosystem safety.
{6} NOAA's Dispersant guide (last updated 2007) (Does not address using such vast quanities in worker proximity.
{7} EPA website {timeline/statements} re: Dispersant
{8} NIOSH (w/CDC ) Respirator use/Respiratory Precautions re.chemical safety
{9} Technical document re: different forms of COREXIT


Christopher said...

The Obama administration's lack of teeth was never more apparent than when the EPA instructed BP to stop using Corexit and BP told the Obama administration "too bad, we will keep using Corexit, so deal with it."

Seventeen nations have offered to help the U.S. find a solution to the capping the oil well but alas, only 2 of the seventeen meet Mr. Obama's high standards to pitch in and help.

For reasons known only to Mr. Obama, he prefers to trust BP to do what's right by the American people. Curious, since nothing BP has tried so far has worked.

Meanwhile, the oil is expected to reach the Florida Panhandle today.

enigma4ever said...

Plz see #Volunteer post http://bit.ly/dAJUgm //BlogUpdated http://bit.ly/lf5Iu // #Dispersant Post http://bit.ly/bGhluv

Pls share #OSHA #OILSPILL Factsheet 4 Safety of #Gulf Workers & Residents http://bit.ly/a3Z91g (goodinfo on #fumes etc)

MustSee #video #BP Tony "Sick Clean Up Workers=FoodPoisoning" http://bit.ly/94LGQV #Dispersant #blacktide

#ShrimperCleanupWorkers got sick after #Corexit sprayed by #lowflyingplanes #overhead http://bit.ly/dqPS3w #gulf

More on #CleanUpWorkers Trailers being brought in by #BP http://bit.ly/aJtTzY

CNN (video) Oil Clean up workers complain of illness http://bit.ly/ditcG4 || #gulf #dispersant #OSHA

RT @DianeN56 BP Denies Oil Plumes Exist; Blames Workers' Illnesses on Food Poisoning: http://bit.ly/dm9XBR #oilspill