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Fishermen hired by BP for oil clean up werent provided protective equipment, have now fallen ill.

By Climate Guest Contributor on May 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

"Fishermen hired by BP for oil clean up werent provided protective equipment, have now fallen ill."

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The Los Angeles Times reports that some fishermen have “become ill after working long hours near waters fouled with oil and dispersant.”  This is a TP repost.

With last month’s massive oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico threatening the livelihood of the area’s fishermen, BP said it would “hire as many local residents as possible to clean the beaches and distribute booms through the surrounding marshes and waterways.” But the effort has hit a few bumps with fishermen complaining that “too few people” were being hired and their cleanup contracts contained problems.

At least one worker says he wasn’t given protective equipment by BP:

Like other cleanup workers, Jackson had attended a training class where he was told not to pick up oil-related waste. But he said he wasn’t provided with protective equipment and wore leather boots and regular clothes on his boat.

“They [BP officials] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn’t supposed to bother us,” Jackson said. “As far as gloves, no, we haven’t been wearing any gloves.”

BP spokesman Graham McEwen told the LA Times that “he was unaware of any health complaints among cleanup workers,” adding that “the fishermen the company is training are not being deployed into areas that require respirators or breathing apparatus. Those who are working for BP laying booms or skimming oil are issued protective coveralls and gloves.” However, George Barisich, president of the United Commercial Fishermen’s Association. in St. Bernard Parish, said that fishermen “complained to a BP representative about illness” at a recent meeting. “BP has the opinion that they are not getting sick,” Barisich said.

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4 Responses to Fishermen hired by BP for oil clean up werent provided protective equipment, have now fallen ill.

  1. mike roddy says:

    Haven’t we been through this before? A lot of Exxon Valdez cleanup workers became sick and died from oil toxin related cancers. Apparently BP doesn’t care about this at all, since they probably begrudge having to pay them $12 an hour.

  2. Chris Winter says:

    Yes, we have been here before.

    Have you heard about the “Three Little Piggies” memo yet?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-25/shocking-bp-memo-and-the-oil-spill-in-the-gulf/?cid=hp:mainpromo1

  3. Dan B says:

    The number of toxic and volatile (in the chemical sense: evaporate into the air at room temperature) compounds in crude oil is large: Methane, ethane, propane, butane, alkanes, cyclokanes, napthenes, aromatic hydrocarbons, pentane, heptane, etc.

    The only effective method to avoid significant exposure is to use an activated charcoal filter mask and goggles that tightly cover the eyes, and then there’s the skin. Some of these compounds remove oils from the skin, others can easily penetrate when topically applie and circulate in the blood.

    Anyone doing manual labor in appropriate safety gear will find them uncomfortable, especially when the air temperature is over 60 degrees. It’s easy for the body to become dangerously hyperthermic.

  4. Victoria says:

    yes we have been here before but shouldn’t we all be accountable for ourselves? if we know its dangerous and in previous situations people have died then thinkn about what you are doing. you all sound ignorant. lets stop complaining and do something because complainging on websites isnt going to get the taken care of. thanks alot. bye(: