The environmental catastrophe unfolding in the gulf of Mexico right now is beyond the ability of most of us to fully comprehend. We who live here must be exceedingly vigilant, as the immediate risks to our health have as much to do with air pollution, as water pollution. New video footage of the leak indicates that toxic natural gases are being released in tremendous quantities. Indeed, these highly pressurized gases are believed to have played a major role in explosion that lead to the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20th. Initial tests by the EPA on the coastline of Louisana indicated that exceedingly high levels of dangerous “air toxics” were present.
It appears that the “air pollution” aspect of the problem is not being discussed openly, due to the adverse effects it will have on anyone thinking of traveling, investing, or owning real estate here. Indeed, governor Crist is actively courting BP to have them divest millions of dollars to fund a misleading advertising campaign to convince potential visitors that our beaches are safe. Is this really a responsible move if the air itself is liable to become a major health hazard, especially if the highly questionable practice of “controlled burning” continues to be employed? Already areas as far away as Naples have reported complaints by the public of a “foul smell” and concomitant respiratory symptoms.
At this time we should proceed with the cautionary principle due to the inherent risks of exposure to “air toxics” from the underwater geyser, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and hydrogen sulfide. These substances can be carried far from their point of origin via air currents, potentially putting residents of our heavily populated coasts at risk. Furthermore, BP’s government-sanctioned disaster mitigation approach thus far has focused on “suppressing symptoms” of the calamity by using highly toxic dispersants to drive the problem deeper into the water column where it will it will do greater harm to wild life, and will accelerate its entry into the gulf stream.
This blog intends to provide a forum for accurate reporting and discussion on the true nature of this catastrophe, with an emphasis on providing information and tools to minimize harmful exposures for those living in the gulf region. We would also like to petition for the end of controlled burning and the use of dispersants.