Experts: Health Hazards in Gulf Warrant Evacuations

Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Paul Martin

by: Rose Aguilar
TruthOut.org
Thursday 22 July 2010

When Louisiana residents ask marine toxicologist and community activist Riki Ott what she would do if she lived in the Gulf with children, she tells them she would leave immediately. “It’s that bad. We need to start talking about who’s going to pay for evacuations.”
In 1989, Ott, who lives in Cordova, Alaska, experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdex oil disaster. For the past two months, she’s been traveling back and forth between Louisiana and Florida to gather information about what’s really happening and share the lessons she learned about long-term illnesses and deaths of cleanup workers and residents. In late May, she began meeting people in the Gulf with symptoms like headaches, dizziness, sore throats, burning eyes, rashes and blisters that are do deep, they’re leaving scars. People are asking, “What’s happening to me?”

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