Articles Posted in Oil Spills

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Following up the report Gulf Oil Spills Into Lawsuits, it seems BP LLC is starting to take action, but not all of it is welcome.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that outside Florida’s panhandle BP has denied claims, despite major losses to tourism-based businesses. Chairman of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Keith Overton affirms that BP denied a claim by a resort property where oil had not reached its beach. The $2 million claim was based on a documented loss of revenue compared to revenues from the previous three years.

The State of Alabama has reportedly filed a claim with BP for approximately $148 million to restore what was lost in its tourism economy and the tax revenue it generates.

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A marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor reports in The Huffington Post that beach goers in four Gulf states are suffering skin rashes, blisters, welts, sore throats, ear bleeds and bronchitis after being in the ocean. The culprit? Dispersed oil – tiny bubbles of oil encased in chemical dispersants in the water column – and they’re invisible. Overexposure to crude oil through inhalation and skin contact are known to create these symptoms.

Worse — not only are small children at risk of breathing a higher dose of contaminants per body weight than adults, but children, pregnant women, people with compromised or stressed immune systems like cancer survivors and asthma sufferers, and African Americans are more at risk from oil and chemical exposure – the latter because they are prone to sickle cell anemia, reports the toxicologist.

Long-term effects of exposure to the chemical dispersants being used on the BP oil spill are yet to be seen but, as reported in The Tampa Tribune, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention assert that long-term exposure can cause central nervous system problems or damage to the kidneys or liver.

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The damages to individuals and businesses caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are no doubt going to be many and far-reaching. The Tampa Tribune reported on June 17 that more than 200 lawsuits had already been filed in federal courts across the Gulf Coast of Florida, for losses and damages related to the spill. Single-plaintiff and class-action lawsuits are being filed daily by people and businesses suffering the effects, some on behalf of scuba shops, hotels, restaurants and tourism-related retailers. With Florida’s economy heavily dependent on tourism and the draw of its coastal areas, the filings are sure to continue.

© Cheryl Casey |

Welcome to Pensacola - Stay out of the waterContamination issues are leaking into the commercial fishing industry, and could end up on someone’s dinner plate while vacationing in the Sunshine State. The FDA reports that it is monitoring fish and shellfish safety, testing for contamination, and specifically targeting oysters, crabs and shrimp, since they could retain contaminants longer than finfish. The FDA’s newly established Incident Management Group is overseeing and coordinating issues related to the oil spill, and has already closed some fisheries as a precautionary measure.