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 complained of headaches, chest pain, nausea and dizziness. A Coast Guard official said the smell of petroleum, heat or fatigue could be the cause. Workers were not given respiratory protection equipment because air sampling concluded that the level of chemical exposure was permissible.
The chemicals BP is using to break up the steady flow of leaking oil fin the Gulf of Mexico could create a new set of environmental problems. BP has deployed an estimate 100,000 gallons to dissolve the crude oil, both on the surface and deep below. Dispersal is considered one of the best ways to protect birds and keep the slick from making landfall. But the chemicals contain harmful toxins of their own and can concentrate leftover oil toxins in the water, where they can kill fish and migrate great distances.