BP Oil Spill Cancer

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Cancer

Nationwide Legal Help For Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Sufferers

BP Oil Spill Cleanup Worker Injury Lawsuits

Thousands of BP workers and volunteers hired to clean up after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion have developed very serious illnesses.

Symptoms range from severe headaches and shortness of breath to neurological damage, respiratory problems, and cancer.

If you were a part of the oil spill cleanup, and you believe your health was damaged because of this work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20th, 2010, the BP-operated offshore drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded. The fire caused by the explosion was inextinguishable and days later the rig sank, leaving the oil well gushing at the seabed. This caused the largest oil spill in U.S. waters in history.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster spilled more than 3 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killed 11 oil rig workers, devastated our nation’s natural resources and profoundly harmed the economic and emotional well-being of hundreds of thousands of people.

The Aftermath

It is estimated that more than 4.4 million barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf of Mexico following the massive explosion. In an attempt to combat the spill, more than 1.8 million gallons of a chemical dispersants, including Corexit, were sprayed over or injected into the water to break up the oil.

Cleanup workers began to experience side effects from exposure to these chemicals just one year after cleanup efforts began. 

A study conducted by doctors at Houston’s University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers and reported in the American Journal of Medicine, sheds new light on the potential health repercussions for the more than 170,000 people who worked in some capacity to clean up the 2010 spill. Researchers determined that clean-up workers exposed to the oil resulting from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the dispersants used to clean up the oil “experienced significantly altered blood profiles, liver enzymes and somatic symptoms.”

Contrary to warnings in BP’s own internal manual, BP and the government misrepresented known risks by asserting that Corexit was low in toxicity.

Benzene Exposure

Unlike refined gasoline and oil, crude oil is a viscous substance that contains a long list of chemicals known to be toxic, such as benzene, a powerful carcinogen.

“Benzene is a very toxic substance. It’s easily absorbed through tissues, such as your skin,” said Mark A. D’Andrea, the lead author of the study and medical director for the University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers. “Once it enters your system, it affects several organs.”

Benzene is associated with a heightened risk of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).

According to the American Cancer Society, benzene not only increases the risk of AML and other cancers but makes irreparable changes to the bone marrow which may also cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs, low blood platelet count, anemia, and low white blood cell count.

While the long-term consequences of benzene exposure may be life-altering or even fatal, there are also a number of potentially dangerous short-term effects of benzene exposure, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dizziness
  • Eye, skin, and throat irritation
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach irritation
  • Tremors
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting

Corexit Exposure

Oil spill cleanup workers were also exposed to Corexit, a chemical dispersant used to clean up the spill.

Reports show that the majority of the workers and volunteers who participated in the cleanup efforts were assured that Corexit was as safe as dishwasher soap, and they were told that there was no need to protect themselves against exposure. However, research conducted since the cleanup efforts suggests that Corexit makes it easier for the organs and skin to absorb crude oil and the toxins it carries.

Some of the short-term conditions associated with Corexit exposure include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Burning and lesions
  • Heart palpitations
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Migraines
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity
  • Nervous system damage
  • Neurological damage resulting in memory loss
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Respiratory system damage
  • Seizures
  • Skin irritation
  • Temporary paralysis

Long-term health effects associated with Corexit exposure include:

  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Reproductive damage

The BP spill was the worst environmental disaster in American history, but the government’s consent to BP’s use of Corexit has caused long-term human and ecological tragedies that may be worse than the original spill.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You

It has become apparent that BP neglected to protect workers and volunteers who participated in the cleanup efforts after the explosion. We can’t give you back the years of life taken from you because a company cared more about profits than your health, but we can fight for you. We can put our years of experience and resources to work to hold these corporations accountable for their neglect, for their failure to inform you about potentially deadly exposures at your job, and we can do everything in our power to keep it from happening to anyone else.

If you, or someone you love, were exposed to toxins as a result of the BP oil spill, please contact our firm today for a free consultation with our toxic exposure lawsuit team.

We may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

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