Back on April 20, 2010, a major environmental catastrophe occurred in the Gulf of Mexico when the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded and 4.9 million barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf waters creating a problem that was not ‘fixed’ until July 10, 2010 when the rig finally was able to be capped.
One of the approved emergency methods to control the oil spill was the use of Corexit™, a chemical dispersant sprayed from aircraft. According to a report about the health issues related to that chemical “Respiratory, Dermal, and Eye Irritation Symptoms Associated with Corexit™ EC9527A/EC9500A following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Findings from the GuLF STUDY,” we learn in the Introduction,
As part of the oil spill response and cleanup (OSRC), approximately 1.8 million gallons (6.8 million liters) of oil dispersant was applied both to the sea surface [1.07 million gallons (4.05 million liters)] and directly into the stream of oil leaving the wellhead 5,000 feet (1.5 km) underwater [0.77 million gallons (2.9 million liters)] (United States Coast Guard 2011).
Furthermore, in the Conclusion of that report, association is made that health issues apparently were caused by the dispersant chemical.
Potential exposure to Corexit™ EC9527A or EC9500A was associated with a range of health symptoms at the time of the OSRC, as well as at the time of study enrollment, 1–3 y after the spill. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1677
Table 2 of the report cites the following health issues:
Cough; Wheeze; Tightness in chest; Shortness of breath; Burning in nose, throat, lungs; Burning eyes; Itching eyes; Skin Irritation.
The above report confirms what clean-up crew members were reporting at the time of the incident and thereafter. However, what long-range health problems do they face? Man-made toxic chemicals are known to cause irreparable DNA breaks, which lead to cancers.
The truly IRONIC part about all the above is what a judge ruled regarding lawsuits filed about Corexit exposure and health problems:
Law360, Los Angeles (November 30, 2012, 6:19 PM EST) — A Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday dismissed personal injury lawsuits against chemical maker Nalco over the use of its oil dispersant Corexit after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, ruling that federal authority to clean up oil spills preempted injury claims by workers and residents.
In a 36-page decision on Tuesday granting Nalco’s motion for summary judgment, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier of New Orleans, who oversees the multidistrict litigation concerning the oil disaster, ruled that claims for exposure-related injuries were barred by the Clean Water Act and the National Contingency Plan.
Perhaps first responders and clean-up crews ought to consider the short- and long-range ramifications and personal injury possibilities they can encounter and be exposed to regarding any type of disasters they are sent in to remediate and even refuse going, especially when legal deprivations like what happened in this case:
But Judge Barbier ruled that if he were to permit the plaintiffs’ claims, “then, during the next substantial spill or ‘spill of national significance,’ the threat of liability might cause the manufacturer of dispersant X to refuse to provide its product, even though the FOSC determined that dispersant X should be used.”
Ecolab, a water, hygiene and energy technology business that is the parent company of Nalco, expressed gratification with Tuesday’s decision.
Isn’t there something inherently wrong with the legal system in the USA when a judge rules not to permit plaintiffs’ claims to proceed when plaintiffs are damaged cleaning up a disaster?
Shouldn’t the federal government then be responsible legally for making damaged plaintiffs whole?
Doesn’t that Corexit ruling somehow remind us of what Congress did to protect vaccine makers from product liability lawsuits too?
Remember what happened to first responders on 9/11 , including deliberate lies  told about how safe the air was?
Who is going to take care of first responders’ safety and wellbeing health issues resulting from dangerous and dramatic events like terrorism, chemical spills and whatever man-made disasters may be in our future?
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)