People along the Gulf of Mexico are watching in horror as news reports show your citizens working on the beach and cleaning up oil without proper protection. Most of us did that, too, but we know better now. Don’t do it! Wear rubber boots, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, eye goggles, and above all, respirators! Get rid of the clothes when you are finished! If you don’t have to be near the water, stay away from it. If the oil companies and our government want to spray dispersants, know that dispersants are highly toxic. Insist they use a different method.
We learned our lessons the hard way. Oil cleanup workers were not allowed to wear proper protective gear, and now, many of them have died, lost limbs, and many, many more are chronically ill with various ailments. Even people who were living a few blocks from the Gulf have been adversely affected with chronic sinus conditions, permanent loss of smell, and a multitude of other diseases and ailments related to high blood levels of the toxic chemicals in oil and dispersants.
If you begin experiencing health problems and seek medical care, insist that your medical professional write in your record that you believe your condition may have been caused by the oil. (Your medical professional does not have to agree with you.) You will likely need that statement if you decide to file a claim. Speaking of claims, if you ever receive anything giving you the opportunity to opt out of the claims process, definitely opt out. Not opting out will relinquish your right to proper restitution, if the need ever arises.
You can join Facebook groups of people from the Gulf area who have been where you are now. We are watching, and we are here to help.
As the media settles on a name for this recent oil blowout, encourage names more befitting than “spill.” This isn’t a tanker that has a hole in it. Even “leak” lessens the oil catastrophe. Perhaps, “Gaviota Oil Blowout” would work.