June 17, 2010

ten biggest health denger behind oil spill

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began after an explosion crippled the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, is now the biggest oil disaster in U.S. history. Cleaning the mess will take months, and the longer-term effects on health and wildlife will take years to heal.
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  1. Sickness among clean-up workers: The combination of oil fumes and heat from the Gulf has led to several workers being hospitalized from fumes, and the curious chemical makeup of some of the substances used to clean up the oil can often lead to skin irritation or, at high levels, cancer.
  2. Danger to marine life: The underwater nature of the spill means it's that much closer to undersea life, and therefore able to do more damage in a shorter amount of time.
  3. Aggravation of existing illnesses: People already suffering from asthma or similar lung diseases could see their conditions worsened because of exposure to oil and chemicals.
  4. Pregnancy risks: The oil contains many volatile and toxic chemicals, some of which have been linked to premature birth, low birth weight, and miscarriages, making the Gulf Coast region a dangerous one for pregnant women.
  5. Smoke fallout: Planned burns of spilled oil on the ocean's surface have a way of backfiring. Often, particles held in the smoke drift down to earth and wind up in people's eyes and lungs, which can aggravate existing medical conditions for some.

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