Workers doing cleaning work in the Louisiana coast suffered complications and seven of these workers were hospitalized. They were reported to be suffering from dizziness, headaches and nausea. Test done earlier had confirmed that all the chemicals were within safety limits before boats to skim oil were sent out on Wednesday.
After the workers were taken ill, all the 125 boats working to skim oil from Breton Sound were called back and docked. This was confirmed by the Coast Guard.
A Coast Guard spokeswoman confirmed that while five workers were released from the hospital while two are still in the hospital and kept under observation.
It is alleged that chemical dispersants and inadequate safety measures are responsible for these incidents. Experts feel that a lot of factors like fatigue, working in hot weather, dehydration and even the smell of petroleum can cause these symptoms.
Some workers also stress that they were not provided with adequate safety gear. The workers were issued with protective suits, gloves, hard hats, safety glasses, steel-toed boots and life jackets. But workers were not issued respiratory protection as air readings found that everything was under the safety levels. The workers who fell ill were not wearing any safety gear.
BP, the Company responsible for the oil spill is working along with the Coast Guard to oversee the cleanup process.