(noon – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
Gulf Coast Communities Investigate Oily Sea Mist
by Debbie Elliott, NPR — September 3, 2010
Orange Beach city hall has been inundated with calls from residents with complaints – foam that they think is dispersant, a gray-metallic slick in back bays or seaweed that looks oiled. There’s a heightened sense of environmental awareness, and local officials are looking for a way to determine what’s going on.
Mayor Tony Kennon says that’s why the town hired independent scientists to test the air, water and soil.
Orange Beach is using grant money from BP for the testing, and posting the data on the town’s website. Mayor Kennon says negative results could affect tourism in the short term, but finding the truth is more important.
Kudos to Mayor Kennon for taking a stand, for what’s right!
The Major is a man of his word.
Monitoring, he is.
“… negative results could affect tourism in the short term, but the truth is more important.”
No doubt. Good Advice.
and a good mantra, to live by …
Here are a few more helpful guidelines, that could add a few days (or even years) to your life …
Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill: JAMA Commentary
Gina Solomon’s Blog — August 16, 2010
Today the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a Commentary on the health effects of the Gulf oil spill
We [Doctors Gina Solomon and Sarah Janssen] identified four main health hazards associated with the oil spill:
1) vapors from oil chemicals and dispersants in the air,
2) skin damage from direct contact with tar balls or contaminated water,
3) potential cancer or other long-term health risks from consumption of contaminated seafood, and
4) mental health problems of depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior due to stress.
This is why it’s vital that oil spills are cleaned immediately, even if it’s just small spillages found in industrial sites. Luckily, these small spills can be tackled by companies like Brisbane industrial cleaning, but spills made in the ocean can be detrimental and are much more difficult to intercept. One piece of good news is that the air quality is improving now that the hole is plugged, and we’re hoping that there will be no long-term respiratory effects, but it’s too soon to know that for sure.
Seafood safety is probably our biggest concern right now with the new fishery reopenings. The shrimp season opened today, and people want to know if it’s safe. I honestly don’t know if it’s safe or not, since the agencies haven’t been making all of their data public; the most serious concerns are for vulnerable populations like pregnant women, children, and subsistence fish consumers.
When in doubt, or if you just need more info,
Do as I do — Go to the Source …
Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill (pdf)
Gina M. Solomon, MD, MPH
Sarah Janssen, MD, PhD, MPH
JAMA. published online Aug 16, 2010; (doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1254)
2010 American Medical Association
Acute Health Effects From Oil and Dispersants
In Louisiana in the early months of the oil spill, more than 300 individuals, three-fourths of whom were cleanup workers, sought medical care for constitutional symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cough, respiratory distress, and chest pain. These symptoms are typical of acute exposure to hydrocarbons or hydrogen sulfide, but it is difficult to clinically distinguish toxic symptoms from other common illnesses.1
Potential Long-term Health Risks
In the near term, various hydrocarbons from the oil will contaminate fish and shellfish. Although vertebrate marine life can clear PAHs from their system, these chemicals accumulate for years in invertebrates.4 The Gulf provides about two-thirds of the oysters in the United States and is a major fishery for shrimp and crab. Trace amounts of cadmium, mercury, and lead occur in crude oil and can accumulate over time in fish tissues, potentially increasing future health hazards from consumption of large fin fish such as tuna and mackerel.
Potential Long-term Health Risks
Community residents should not fish in off-limit areas or where there is evidence of oil. Fish or shellfish with an oily odor should be discarded. Direct skin contact with contaminated water, oil, or tar balls should be avoided.
Those are “Medical” facts about the Oil Spill Health Hazards, per a couple of serious Doctors.
Here are the “Economic facts” according to a QA (Quality Assurance) and Marketing site:
Dispelling Consumer Fears of Gulf Seafood
Quality Assurance & Food Safety
By: Jeff Hayman, qualityassurancemag.com — 9/1/2010
Supply vs. Safety. Although Gulf life is being tragically affected and the future of Gulf seafood remains in question, it is actually a question of supply rather than safety.
In fact, representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state health officers and fisheries’ directors from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas implemented a comprehensive, coordinated program to ensure that seafood from the Gulf is safe to eat.
In addition, FDA has selected and equipped eight laboratories across the U.S. to assist with the testing of Gulf seafood to detect petroleum-based-chemical contamination and any potential health risk and to identify fisheries that have not been contaminated so those areas can be reopened for fishing.
Straight Talk from NFI [National Fisheries Institute]. The following are broad points that NFI developed with some simple, straight-forward talking points based on NOAA, FDA and other regulatory sources. Seafood processors may find it useful to pass along these points and factsheets to your own brokers, retailers and foodservice providers for use by their associates.
NFI points include:
— We know seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe and healthy because the waters where the oil is are closed to fishing and officials have tested thousands of samples from the rest of the Gulf and found no contamination.
— Seafood from the Gulf is safe to eat because officials are testing more of it than they ever have at any time.
— Only about two percent of seafood consumed in the United States actually comes from the Gulf. The U.S. sources seafood from all over the country and the world.
— The U.S. buys fish everywhere from New England to New Zealand, and that ensures that if there is a disruption in supply, like now in the Gulf, there won’t be a shortage.
— Gulf fishermen have been hit hard by this and one way to help them is to buy Gulf seafood — it remains safe, healthy and delicious.
SO … the Oil in the Gulf is a really more a PR problem —
than it is a Health-Hazard problem, or a Food Safety problem?
According to Quality Assurance & Food Safety and NFI, it’s really just a Marketing problem.
Why is it that Economic Concerns, always trump Environmental Concerns, whenever the stakes get serious?
Without a Healthy Environment, our future options become seriously limited. Ultimately we all depend on the Earth, for our very survival.
Well maybe someday Reality — will trump the Spin —
especially if the Gulf Locals, keep standing up for what’s right — keep trying to find the truth, amidst the marketing …
Oil spill: BP reverses, admits there’s oil in local waters
Kimberly Blair, pnj.com — August 29, 2010
Despite persistent denials from BP last week, thousands of pounds of weathered oil is being pulled from under the surface of Pensacola Bay every day.
On Friday, Coast Guard Lt. Stephen West with the Incident Command Post finally confirmed an area of oil a quarter of a mile long and up to 50 to 60 feet off Barrancas Beach at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
He also confirmed that buckets of sunken oil were being pulled up in another area of Pensacola Bay, near Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Some of those Local Fisherman seem to be finding more Oil, than Fish … yet BP Clean-up Officials would rather discount those Local Reports, from the Local Fisherfolks.
Oil spill: BP reverses … (pg 3)
Recreational fisherman Mark Fuqua, 47, of Pensacola, who has fished the waters from Destin to Pensacola most of his life, discovered just how big the mess is on the first day he struck out to drop a line in the water since the fishing ban was lifted two weeks ago.
After a day of fishing in several areas of the bay on Wednesday, his boat, anchor and cast net were covered in oil.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was fishing in front of Palafox Pier and pulled up my anchor, and it looked like it had black mud on it. I reached down to try to wipe it off and it was all greasy, like greasy sand.”
The anchor was dropped in 20 feet of water.
Piggott [Scott Piggott, who heads the Escambia and Santa Rosa cleanup operation for BP] said the reports from fishermen about finding oil often are not reliable.
Far from being over — some Local Officials think we are right smack-dab in the middle of this still-unfolding Environmental Crisis.
Oil spill: BP reverses … (pg 2)
Keith Wilkins, Escambia County’s point person on environmental issues, said last week he believes a breakdown in communications in the heavily bureaucratic BP cleanup organization led to the denials about the submerged oil. Officials from a number of government agencies rotate in and out every two weeks.
Wilkins said the oil isn’t going to go away quickly.
“People feel like we were nearing the hump and nearing the close of this,” he said. “But we’re in the middle of this, ecologically. We’ll see the residual effects for some time.”
“A lot of people speak in absolutes,” he said. “I think they’re wrong. There are no absolutes here. They’re constantly being surprised by what they’re finding and they’re being surprised by what they’re not finding.”
Truth is where you find it, I guess —
Or better yet, where you make it.
Next are two-different approaches at “truth-making” …
Oil spill: BP reverses … (pg 4)
Wilkins said the county supplied Incident Command with a map showing at least 15 spots in the bay suspected of having submerged or sunken oil, including the Greenshores Project along Bayfront Parkway, Big Lagoon, Old River to Perdido Bay and Santa Rosa Sound up to the Bob Sikes Bridge.
“We want them to look at those locations because that’s where we saw oil during the worst impact,” he said.
Piggott said the discussion about looking at those locations was informal.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever find that map,” he said. “I have not seen it. I don’t think it’s been passed up to my boss in Mobile.
Frank Patti Sr., owner of Joe Patti Seafood on Pensacola’s Main Street, said oil in the bay is hurting his business and the livelihoods of local fishermen.
“It’s a terrible situation,” he said.
He said his fishermen knew oil was out there and thought BP would eventually get it.
“They kept checkin’ on it and found out BP was not going to do anything about it,” Patti said. “They’re pulling our leg and trying to do a cover-up, and that is just not satisfactory to us.”
Patti’s family has been selling locally caught seafood to customers since 1930.
“As long as there’s oil in the water,” he said, “I’m not going to sell anything from here.”
Kudos to you, Frank Patti — for standing up for what’s right.
Or course don’t let those Gulf Locals, get too much Airtime on the National News —
That might not be helpful to the on-going Gulf Make-Over effort.
It seems, it’s not just the BP Officials who would rather not hear about those Local Yokel Reports, from the Fisherfolks and Restaurant owners …
Feds open more Gulf waters off Florida to fishing
Environmental News from Florida’s capital
by Bruce Ritchie — August 10, 2010
ABC News on Monday featured a shrimper in Louisiana who said he wouldn’t sell shrimp that he caught from an area that had been reopened because he said they have oil on them. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told reporters during a conference call she was not familiar with the report. “As far as I’m aware, areas we have re-opened are safe,” she said.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Sole also called the ABC report “unfortunate.”
The remaining federal waters off Florida’s coast could be reopened in a few weeks if test results show the fish is safe to eat, said Roy Crabtree, southeast regional administrator of the NOAA Fisheries Service.
“unfortunate” — that’s one word for it.
One last question for you to ponder, as we, the American People, continue to try to cipher Fact from Fiction, in regards to remaining Oil in the Gulf —
Does that Oil, roiling around below the surface in “unknown quantities”, really have any idea where those new “safe” boundaries areas, have been drawn on our latest Operational Maps?
According to the Locals, a fair amount of the remaining Hidden Oil, seems to be no respecter of such hastily-drawn Boundaries …
The Oil seems to have created its own mess — in a multitude of mini-locations, all on its own …
Lines on Map? — No Problem!