Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
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BP's Toxic Chemical Poisoning: Enough is Enough!
by Lourdes Salvador
The BP spill is the perfect opportunity to see and understand how toxic chemical poisoning leads health problems that are either dismissed or totally ignored to reduce the financial losses of responsible parties.
It happened with 9/11 responders and Gulf War Veterans. It continues to happen every day to civilians exposed to sick buildings, molds, fragrances, pesticides, and chemicals in the environment.
The result is always an initial set of symptoms that never seems to resolve. It´s followed by declining health. Along the way, the perks are various combinations of respiratory diseases, autoimmune problems, muscular degeneration, pain, fatigue, and disability.
Another episode of this toxic chemical poisoning is unfolding in the Gulf. Seven men cleaning up the BP spill were brought to the hospital and many others are complaining of symptoms.
BP´s Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward initially announced that it was just food poisoning. Everything is fine nothing to worry about. The air is safe.
But the symptoms continue.
BP´s second response to the toxic chemical poisoning was heat exhaustion. Everything is fine nothing to worry about. The air is safe.
But the symptoms continue.
An insider speaking at the Gulf Emergency Summit on June 19, Kindra Arnesen, says that in early June a representative from OSHA "informed me that all four boats took Pine Sol, sprayed it all over their boats, and then sat and breathed in the fumes all day long. And that´s what caused the chemical poisoning."
But the symptoms continue.
The air is not safe and nothing is being done about it! BP is not even requiring respiratory protection for spill workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 1910.134(c) says that workers have a right to wear a voluntary respirator. Arnesen says that in order to obtain a respirator, "Number 1, they have to fill out an OSHA questionnaire. Number 2, they have to have a physical evaluation by a medical professional."
"But, BP is taking over our Gulf BP´s rules are they have to be properly trained to wear a respirator But, everything´s OK! So, they don´t need to be trained and they don´t need a respirator. And as far as the right to wear a volunteer respiration? Guess what? If you don´t follow BP´s rules, you don´t have a job. And that´s what they told me."
She says that BP is already talking about how to cut costs while oil is still gushing oil into the ocean. Part of this cost cutting is achieved by what she terms "ponies and balloons".
"Ponies and balloons means that every time an official is headed anywhere near here (the spill site), they get a heads up. All assets are deployed into the hardest hit areas. The official comes in, flies over, "good job, fellas" (waves), pats ´em on the back. When that official disappears out of the hardest hit area, so does 75%-80% of the response It´s happening. It´s happening every day. I´m watching it. I´ve seen it. I don´t agree with it We are expendable to these people. We do not matter... This is unacceptable! They´re not cleaning it up! They´re covering it up!"
Volunteers with various methods of sealing the well and dispersing the oil which are far less toxic have been denied access to assist BP in the clean-up. In light of the magnitude of this disaster, it makes no sense as to why anyone would deny assistance unless there is a cover-up.
As escalating health problems are reported, concerns continue to mount over the toxicity of both the crude oil and chemical dispersants being used in the Gulf. People on land are also reporting health effects as the oil and dispersant reaches the shoreline.
If being sick is not enough, responsible parties have historically shifted the blame to mental health. As health concerns arise, they have been traditionally dismissed as ´fear of chemicals´. If the group is large, it´s often called ´mass hysteria´. The toxic chemical poisoning of the BP spill is no exception.
The Louisiana health department is already deciding how to get health services to injured people. But the health services are not what would be expected to treat toxic chemical poisoning. Instead, they have called on BP to fund mental health services!
This is absolutely unacceptable! Treating toxic chemical poisoning as a mental health problem delays appropriate care and leads to needless deterioration of health.
The situation is the Gulf is largely being ignored. In an apparent media blackout, the news reaching our media has been censored to downplay the devastation and calm the public.
Arnesen says she invited Fox news onto her boat to tape the lack of response as the oil drifted to shore. She says the video feed was never published and could not be found anywhere. She was hopeful when Sydney Australia´s 60 minutes did a story on the BP spill and posted it on their website, but 24 hours later it disappeared without a trace.
The clear message these people are giving us is that workers, citizens, and the environment are expendable and do not matter! All that matters is profits.
Enough is enough!
Truthful information about the toxicity of the crude oil and dispersants needs to be disbursed.
Workers need respirators and proper medical treatment for chemical poisoning.
Civilians need to be evacuated from affected shoreline communities and properly treated for chemical poisoning.
The oil well needs to be plugged.
BP must deploy all assets into the Gulf and allow outsiders to volunteer their assistance.
As we sit at home and watch, group after group is being poisoned with toxic chemicals and left to die a slow painful death. It´s easy to ignore when it´s not in our neck of the woods. Nevertheless, what happens when the next event strikes right at home?
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America