Clean-Up Workers Risk Health Problems From Oil Spill

Workers struggling to clean up oil from the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico risk short-term lung, liver, and kidney damage from fumes. Protective gear helps, but workers have often been taking it off in the summer heat.

Studies of health effects after seven supertanker spills showed that clean-up crews suffered short-term health problems from volatile organic compounds emitted by the oil.

Reuters reports:

“The April 20 spill is the worst in U.S. history and oil is still pouring into the Gulf ... Various government departments are keeping eye on the health of workers and seafood is being inspected for potential contamination.”

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