Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The BP Crud

The Locust Fork News-Journal : "Thousands of People Along the Gulf Coast Suffer ‘BP Crud’"

An excerpt from the story:

The Washington Post was given an opportunity for first, exclusive rights to publish this story today, but took a pass “because of the complicated nature of this story and our concerns that it’s too early to judge the real health effects.”


When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, Robin Young, a 47-year-old director of guest services for a property management company in Orange Beach, Alabama, was gearing up for what promised to be the best tourist season on the coast in years. From the city of New Orleans to the Florida panhandle, communities were finally starting to feel like they were recovering from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan.

Since suffering a debilitating bout of what locals are calling the “BP Crud,” however, like thousands of other people along the coast due to their exposure to the oil and chemical dispersants, she is now part of a growing community of activists along the coast who are worried about their health.

Just a few days after BP’s oil made landfall along the Alabama Gulf Coast in June, Ms. Young’s symptoms started with “a fiery, burning sore throat,” she said. Then came the horrible, constant cough, followed by an achy feeling much like a severe flu virus — and a lethargy that kept her in bed for two weeks solid. Her memory started playing tricks on her, and her motor skills and even hand-to-eye coordination went south.

She started communicating with other sick folks over the Internet, and attending local meetings with corporate and government officials. At one meeting early on, she asked for a show of hands in a room of maybe 400 people to see how many had suffered symptoms similar to hers.

“Half the people in the room raised their hands,” she said in an interview at her cottage right next to the Intercoastal Waterway, which was polluted with oil and chemicals at the height of the disaster. Clearly, this was not some isolated event unrelated to the oil rig blowout.

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