The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemical dispersant (Corexit 9580) being used in the Gulf Coast Oil Catastrophe designates it as an “acute” hazard to human health, and recommends the use of protective biohazard clothing when handling it.
Marine Toxicologist Riki Ott, who has studied and written about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, is now reporting from the Gulf Coast about “bad air days, days when the air smells like oil,” and people are breathing toxic fumes.
“People are getting the same symptoms as the workers, only to a little lesser degree: headaches, nausea, sore throat, stuffy sinuses … ”
In the video below, Ott talks to Rachel Maddow about the toxic risks from oil mixed with the dispersant, including — in the acute phase — respiratory problems, central nervous system problems, immune suppression, even kidney and liver problems.
According to Ott, it isn’t just the cleanup workers who are at risk, but also the Gulf Coast population at large, who cannot — she says — stay inside all summer with their windows closed.