Today is Day 49 of the Gulf Oil Disaster.
By now, more and more Americans do not believe what British Petroleum (BP) or the Obama administration says. BP claims to have installed air quality monitors along the Gulf coast and that, no worry, those monitors indicate the air is fine. Crude oil emits Benzene, which is a human carcinogen. (Read more about Benzene contamination HERE.)
We have reasons to doubt BP’s veracity.
From a report by Ray Henry and Jay Reeves of the AP, June 6, 2010:
Kelcey Forrestier, 23, of New Orleans, said she no longer trusts the word of either BP or the U.S. government in laying out the extent of the spill. But it is clear to Forrestier, just coming in off the water at Okaloosa Island, Fla., that the spill and its damage will last long into the future. “Oil just doesn’t go away. Oil doesn’t disappear,” said Forrestier, who just earned a biology degree. “It has to go somewhere and it’s going to come to the Gulf beaches.”
Already, cleanup crews along the coast were struggling to keep pace with oil washing up thicker and faster by the hour. The sight and smell of oil undermined any consolation offered by reports of progress at the wellhead. Instead, Gulf residents voiced frustration with the apparent holes in cleanup efforts.
At Gulf Shores, Dailey walked along a line of oil mixed with seaweed that stretched as far as the eye could see. Collecting bits of the rust-colored oil did nothing to ease her anger. Clumps of seaweed hiding tar balls make the scene appear better than it really is, she said. Pick up a piece of weed and often there’s oil underneath. “They’re lying when they say they’re cleaning these beaches,” said Dailey, of Huntsville. “They’re saying that because they still want people to come.”
Shawn Luzmoor said he works at a local environmental lab and has been testing the oil and tar that is washing up on the beaches. “It’s not safe and it’s not right what’s happening out there,” he said.
BP…hasn’t publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers’ exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe. Moreover, the company isn’t monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf.Under pressure from senators, BP released four videos…but it hasn’t agreed to better monitoring. The company also hasn’t publicly released air sampling for oil spill workers although Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency in charge of monitoring compliance with worker safety regulations, is relying on the information and has urged it to do so.
Even more disturbing is the following for-subscribers-only article by Wayne Madsen Report:
June 7-8, 2010 — BREAKING NEWS: EPA and media lying about air monitors on Gulf coast
WMR’s colleague John Caylor, who lives on the Gulf Coast near Pensacola, Florida, has reported that the concentration of benzene fumes in the air along the Florida and Alabama coast is at dangerously high levels. The benzene fumes are coming from the massive amounts of oil in the Gulf of Mexico that came from the BP catastrophe at the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig.
Caylor also reports that BP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which have stated that several hundred air quality monitors have been deployed around the Florida and Alabama coasts and have not detected any benzene levels that would be harmful to human health, are lying.
Caylor, who suffers from a breathing impairment, is planning to evacuate his coastal home for the Washington, DC area.
In fact, Caylor was told by a senior news source at WEAR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Pensacola, that there are no air quality monitors that have been deployed along the coastal bays and inlets by either BP or the EPA. The station sent reporters out to check on the monitors and discovered they were non-existent. The news station also has said that the ABC News network out of New York and CNN are echoing the BP and Obama administration’s lines that the air quality is being monitored and is perfectly safe.
The benzene levels in the air are potentially fatally harmful to those with breathing problems, particularly those suffering from asthma and emphysema.
WMR has also learned that officials of the towns of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama are livid that oil is washing ashore and neither BP or any federal agency, including the EPA, FEMA, or the Coast Guard, are responding to the oil deluge. In addition, WMR has learned that Florida Governor Charlie Crist is preparing to declare a major state of emergency in Florida with evacuation of coastal residents, especially those prone to the deadly benzene fumes, being a top priority for state emergency responders.
Remember: If you can smell oil or if oily rain/mist is coming down, that means the Benzene level is already too hazardous for human health.