Fishermen Getting Sick in Gulf Cleanup

Lawmaker wants mobile clinics funded by BP

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 26, 2010 4:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – More reports are surfacing about fishermen getting sick while cleaning up the Gulf oil spill, and a Louisiana congressman wants BP to pay for mobile clinics, reports the Los Angeles Times. With the "top kill" strategy under way at the ocean bottom, the fishermen on the surface are complaining of dizziness, nausea, and breathing problems after working long hours close to chemical dispersants and the oil itself.

Rep. Charlie Melancon has asked both the federal government and BP to provide fast medical treatment, so far with no luck. "I ain't never run on anything like this," one longtime fisherman tells the Times. He attended a training session but got no protective equipment. BP says the dispersants are safe, but a marine toxicologist sees the same pattern of "sick animals and sick people" as with the Exxon Valdez spill. "What are we exposing these poor fishermen to?"

Researchers wear breathing masks as they pass through oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Researchers wear breathing masks as they pass through oil in the Gulf of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
This image made from video released by British Petroleum shows equipment being used in the top kill attempt.
This image made from video released by British Petroleum shows equipment being used in the "top kill" attempt.   (AP Photo/BP PLC)
Oil sheen is seen of the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Wednesday, May 26, 2010.
Oil sheen is seen of the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Wednesday, May 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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