Thursday, June 24, 2010
CDC advises “Everyone, including pregnant women” to avoid areas affected by spill; Expert says crude oil contains “some of the most toxic chemicals th
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has issued health warnings…
While they suggest there is no threat, the CDC simultaneously advised “everyone, including pregnant women” to avoid spill-affected areas. …
Shira Kramer, an epidemiologist who has conducted research for the petroleum industry on the health consequences of exposure to petroleum, said she is concerned that the risks are being downplayed.
“It’s completely scientifically dishonest to pooh-pooh the potential here when you are talking about some of the most toxic chemicals that we know,” said Kramer, who is founder and president of consulting firm Epidemiology International in Hunt Valley, Maryland. She isn’t involved with the Institute panels.
“When you talk about community exposure, you are talking about exposures in unpredictable ways and to subpopulations that may be more highly susceptible than others, such as those of reproductive age, people who are immuno-compromised, children or fetuses. …
“[W]e have a soup of chemicals from the crude, chemicals from the dispersants and pollutants that were already in the water. Who can say how they will interact?”
People, including pregnant women, can be exposed to these chemicals by breathing them (air), by swallowing them (water, food), or by touching them (skin). If possible, everyone, including pregnant women, should avoid the oil and spill-affected areas.