Sunday, March 27, 2011

Louisiana doctor suspects patients' ill health caused by Gulf of Mexico oil spill (Reader contributed)

Blindness, nosebleeds, bleeding ears, memory loss. Is this what's happening to people exposed to leaking radiation in Japan? No, it's the symptoms a Louisiana doctor says his patients are dealing with more and more since the BP oil spill.

Dr. Mike Robichaux, an ear, nose and throat specialist and a former state senator, has shared his information with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. LEAN director Marylee Orr says it's compelling.

"We are gathering evidence that I don't believe you can dismiss," Orr told members of the news media. "You may wonder about it, but you're going to find that all these folks have very high levels of the ten chemicals that we're testing for."

Dr. Robichaux says chemicals found in oil dispersants can have nasty effects on the human body.

"Ethylene glycol is antifreeze. Methanol is wood alcohol," Dr. Robichaux said. "10 ccs blinds you, 30 ccs kills you."

Dr. Robichaux says one spill cleanup worker lost his sight, and other patients have had trouble with their memory.

"People out here are losing their memories. They're having headaches and losing their memory," he said. "This is happening to hundreds and hundreds of people."

Dr. Robichaux says while BP has offered money to people who lost work because of the spill, nothing has been done for people sickened by it.