"The Obama administration has released a new analysis of chemical monitoring performed by BP PLC in order to tamp down concerns that offshore responders battling the oil giant's Gulf of Mexico gusher have been exposed to a chemical linked to lingering health problems among cleanup workers long after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
Workers on the massive project to clean oil from Prince William sound after the Exxon Valdez spill two decades ago are struggling with severe health problems. CNN investigates whether Gulf oil spill cleanup workers face the same fate.
"TEXAS CITY, TEXAS -- Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the huge, trouble-plagued BP refinery in this coastal town spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies. The release from the BP facility here began April 6 and lasted 40 days. It stemmed from the company's decision to keep producing and selling gasoline while it attempted repairs on a key piece of equipment, according to BP officials and Texas regulators." Ryan Knutson reports for ProPublica and PBS FRONTLINE July 2, 2010.
"The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is again requesting $10 million from BP to fund ongoing mental health services in communities affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, after a request made on May 28 failed to spur any action." The New Orleans Times-Picayune had the story June 28, 2010.
"There are 'large gaps' in data now being gathered on the health of the 34,000 workers cleaning up the largest oil spill in U.S. history and growing concern that BP Plc will fail to publicize problems if they arise." Those concerns came up at an Institute of Medicine hearing Tuesday.
The Gulf oil disaster has the oystermen who supply much of the nation's appetite for the bivalves wondering whether they will ever be made whole. The impacts of BP's deepwater gusher spread through the Gulf region and even the nation -- affecting not just economic and environmental health but even mental health.
PENSACOLA — Danger lurks in the waves, but town officials won't close the beaches. They don't want to scare off tourists - or their money - in high season. As in fictional Amity Island, Florida officials find themselves in the jaws of a dilemma. Here the danger isn't a killer shark. It's a greasy, toxic mess leaching onto Panhandle beaches and inland waterways from an underwater oil volcano 300 miles away.
"The private contractor hired by BP PLC as the primary monitor of offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico is no stranger to environmental calamity.
After a million gallons of oil spilled on a Louisiana town in 2005, after a flood of toxic coal ash smothered central Tennessee in 2008 and after defective Chinese drywall began plaguing Florida homeowners, the same firm was on the scene -- saying everything was fine.
Now that the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) has a high-profile role in the Gulf spill, local community groups and other chemical testing veterans see a troubling pattern at work. As BP continues to claim that the leaking oil has caused "no significant exposures," despite the hospitalization of several workers and the sparse release of test data, these observers of CTEH's work say the firm has a vested interest in finding a clean bill of health to satisfy its corporate employer."