Category Archives: Gulf Oil Catastrophe

Gulf oil spill poses unique health challenges

oil-clean-up-workers
Photo source: ©© DHR

Excerpts;

Last week public health experts convened in New Orleans, Louisiana, to tackle unanswered questions about the health effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After the workshop, hosted by the Institute of Medicine, a non-profit organisation within the US National Academies in Washington DC, what do we now know about the health risks?

What are the immediate health hazards of the oil spill?..

Read Full Article; By Caitlin Stier, NewScientist.

How Will The Gulf Oil Spill Affect Human Health? NPR
Medical researchers have met on June 23rd, in New Orleans to discuss the health effects of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But most of the discussion is about what isn’t known. The workshop was pulled together in a matter of days by the Institute of Medicine, a prestigious independent body chartered by Congress. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked for the review…

The ‘Black Tides’ Of Galicia
Blanca Laffon and her colleagues at the University of A Coruna in Spain, research on oil exposure and DNA effects, following the 2002 wreck of the tanker Prestige…

CHILDREN AT GREATEST RISK FROM OIL SPILL

next-generations
Photo source: ©© Fontplay

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There are some very thin-skinned, rather careless people along the Gulf Coast who are the most at risk from the BP oil spill.

They’re children, and they are not only more vulnerable to the chemicals in the oil, but are suffering from psychological stresses as well, said health experts who were called together this week by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to discuss the human health effects of the BP oil spill…

Read Full Article;By Larry O’Hanlon, Discovery News

BP Sets New Spill Target

deepwater-horizon-oil-spill
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. Captions and Photo source: U.S. Coast Guard

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BP PLC is pushing to fix its runaway Gulf oil well by July 27, possibly weeks before the deadline the company is discussing publicly, in a bid to show investors it has capped its ballooning financial liabilities, according to company officials.

At the same time, BP is readying a series of backup plans in case its current operations go awry. These include connecting the rogue well to existing pipelines in two nearby underwater gas and oil fields, according to company and administration officials…

Read Full Article; By Monica Langley, The Wall Street Journal

Agency Agreed Wildlife Risk From Oil Was ‘Low’

loggerhead-turtle-gulf-oil
A large loggerhead turtle, 6 to 7 years old and over 100 pounds, evades being netted by a team of sea turtle experts while swimming in the polluted waters of the Gulf of Mexico, near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Captions and Photo source: NOAA

Excerpts;

The federal agency charged with protecting endangered species like the brown pelican and the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle signed off on the Minerals Management Service’s conclusion that deepwater drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico posed no significant risk to wildlife, despite evidence that a spill of even moderate size could be disastrous, according to federal documents.

By law, the minerals service, before selling oil leases in the gulf, must submit an evaluation of the potential biological impact on threatened species to the Fish and Wildlife Service, whose responsibilities include protecting endangered species on land. Although the wildlife agency cannot block lease sales, it can ask for changes in the assessment if it believes it is inadequate, or it can insist on conducting its own survey of potential threats, something the agency has frequently done in the past.

But in a letter dated Sept. 14, 2007, and obtained by The New York Times, the wildlife agency agreed with the minerals service’s characterization that the chances that deepwater drilling would result in a spill that would pollute critical habitat was “low…”

Read Full Article; By Leslie Kaufman, The New York Times.

Recovery effort falls vastly short of BP’s promises

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Hands In BP’s Oil, Greenpeace. Photo source: © Greenpeace

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In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has skimmed or burned about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day.

The disparity between what BP promised in its March 24 filing with federal regulators and the amount of oil recovered since the April 20 explosion underscores what some officials and environmental groups call a misleading numbers game that has led to widespread confusion about the extent of the spill and the progress of the recovery…

Read Full Article; By Kimberly Kindy, The Washington Post.

Tar balls from Gulf oil spill turn up in Texas


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

By Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press.

A Texas official said Monday July 5th, that tar balls from the Gulf oil spill have been found on state beaches, becoming the first known evidence that gushing crude from the Deepwater Horizon well has now reached all the Gulf states.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said two crews were removing tar balls found on the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island on Sunday…

Read Full Article; AP

Oil Found in Gulf Beach Sand, Even After Cleanups

oiled-sediment-usgs
Oiled sediment. This photo shows the swash zone at USGS sampling location MS-39 on East Ship Island, MS. Waves have cut a steep section into the sand, revealing alternating layers of clean and sticky organic-rich sand that are visible after low tide. (The swash zone is the zone that is alternately covered and exposed by waves.) Captions and Photo source: Shane Stocks / USGS

Excerpts;

Oil patties and tarballs were discovered as deep as 2 feet (0.6 meter) beneath beaches dirtied by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill—the deepest oil yet found by a team of University of South Florida coastal geologists that’s been studying the effects of the oil spill on Gulf beaches since early May. The previous record had been 6 inches (about 15 centimeters) deep, said geologist Ping Wang, the team’s leader.

The discoveries suggest that toxic oil lies hidden under even “clean” patches of beaches along the U.S. Gulf Coast, and that oil-spill cleanup crews are only scratching the surface.

Because the buried oil is both harder to clean and slower to break down, it could be a long-lasting threat to beachgoers, both animal and human, experts say…

Read Full Article; By Christine Dell’Amore, National Geographic.

BP spill hits a somber record as Gulf’s biggest

oiled-marsh-noaa
Oil moving into a marsh. Photo source: NOAA

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BP’s massive oil spill became the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico on July 1st based on the highest of the federal government’s estimates, an ominous record that underscores the oil giant’s dire need to halt the gusher.

The oil that’s spewed for two and a half months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea hit the 140.6 million gallon mark, eclipsing the record-setting, 140-million-gallon Ixtoc I spill off Mexico’s coast from 1979 to 1980. Even by the lower end of the government’s estimates, at least 71.7 million gallons are in the Gulf…

Read Full Article; By Tom Breen and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press