Lab tests have found that the blood of Gulf oil spill cleanup workers has elevated levels of several chemicals that are characteristic components of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon well.
The blood was collected in early August from 8 cleanup workers, 5 men and 3 women, ranging in age from 30 to 59. Samples were analyzed by Metametrix Clinical Laboratory in Pensacola, Florida. The tests found levels above the 95th percentile for ethylbenzene and m,p-Xylene in all 8 workers. Three of the workers had levels of 2-Methylpentane above the 80th percentile.
The results were reported in the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper blog on October 25, 2010, by Dr. Wilma Subra. Subra, Louisiana chemist, is a MacArthur Fellows genius grant recipient and advisor to the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health