NEW FEATURED VIDEO: Veteran Toxicologist Warns of Increased Risk of Cancer and Birth Defects Tied to Later Stages of Spill; Unprotected Cleanup Workers at Highest Risk, Dr. William Sawyer, November 29, 2010:
A leading member of my research team, veteran toxicologist Dr. William Sawyer, has done extensive research into the human health effects of the spill, particularly toxic exposures. He warns of the grave health risks tied to the later stages of an oil spill, when we see things like tar balls and weathered crude floating on the surface. Although the oil has stopped flowing, there remain serious health risks in the Gulf. And we feel the lack of information and research coming from the government at this point is simply unacceptable given the high level of risk to a potentially huge group of people.
Dr. Sawyer: “…oil at the surface and in the tar balls…is contaminated with higher percentages of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which we’ve measured are carcinogens…Thus, this oil exposure is more toxic than that of fresh version crude.”
Release is somewhat unique in that the oil at the surface and in the tarballs and other matrices that we've tested is contaminated with higher percentages of toxic PAHs...
Thus this oil exposure is more toxic than that of fresh crude...
Health consequences of dermal contact related to weathered BP crude is probably that of probable human carcinogens chrysene and benzo[b]fluoranthene that have been measured predominantly throughout the samples tested.
Health effects of those two compounds are increased risk of cancer, chromosomal aberrations, genetic damage.
It is insidious, latent response... that is a person that's been chronically exposed may have no adverse effects for several years until malignancy develops.
The second avenue is that of inhalation...