August 30, 2011
Lee Ann Waterrs
I was able to attend the final meeting of US Panel to study BP oilspill and its effects. Five or six representatives held a Q&A after the presentation regarding health issues. It was supposed to be only about half an hour but lasted at least three hours. Plenty of issues were presented to this panel who handled the inquiries quite diplomatically. The audience seemed more pleased with this symposium than any of the others, but still everyone has the feeling their health issues are being ignored and sacrificed for money. The biggest issue is the use of dispersants that are banned overseas due to their toxicity (only the day before a partial list of ingredients was released to the media). The Department of Health and Human Services lead toxicologist arrived somewhat late (Virginia just got hit by a hurricane), but she was quite forthright and open ears.
She and another investigator strongly encourage residents to call poison hotline if even a few poison symptoms are felt. The more reports at the Health Dept., the quicker Washington will pay attention. Demand they at least record the call (many people say they did call and were transferred to another department, BP Offices! No joke.). Also call legislators and report to them happenings. They may or may not know, but again, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
She also said there are oilspills virtually everyday in the Gulf, not to the extent of Deepwater Horizon, but there are smaller ones, and it’s her understanding that dispersants are still being used. (Audio #1)