All 125 commercial vessels working to clean up the oil spill in the
Gulf of Mexico have been ordered back to shore temporarily after four
workers on three separate vessels became ill, according to a Deepwater
Horizon Response press release.
It's unclear whether the crew members were working with chemical oil
dispersants, which have been criticized for their toxicity. Our calls to
officials in the region have not yet been returned.
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The sick workers said they had headaches and chest pain, and were
nauseated and dizzy. One was taken by helicopter to a hospital in
Marrero, La., another was taken by boat and two were taken in an
ambulance, according to the press release.
The current symptoms mirror
those of other fishermen who were hired by BP to help clean up the
spill, as we pointed out earlier this week. The dispersants BP is using
to break up the oil have many
health risks of their own. Earlier this month, the EPA told BP to stop
using the chemicals and to switch to something else, but
BP says there is no better alternative.