Have We Recovered from the BP Oil Spill?

by Ladyblogger on February 20, 2013

(U.S. Law) The BP oil spill, also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, happened as the result of an explosion on April 20, 2010. The resulting investigation uncovered evidence that BP was responsible for the spill because they lacked proper safety measures and had implemented several methods to cost costs. The accident itself caused the death of 11 workers, but the long-term health impact on individuals who live and work in the affected area has yet to be determined. The spill lasted for 87 days before the wellhead was successfully capped, and experts estimate that 4.9 million barrels of oil were discharged into the Gulf of Mexico during this time frame.

Damage to Wildlife

In addition to the 11 workers who were killed, 17 more were injured. The toll that the spill took on the local wildlife, however, was much more severe. At the time that the oil rig explosion occurred, the immediate surrounding ocean area was the home of more than 8,300 different species. Although it is impossible to know how many of these marine animals were killed, scientists have determined that there is a lack of marine life within a 30 mile radius of the wellhead. There have also been recent reports of mutated fish, shrimp without eye sockets and dolphins suffering from liver and lung disease. The marine life is not likely to recover any time soon due to the fact that approximately 33 percent of the oil that was spilled is still in the ocean.

Economic Impact

The economy of the local area was based primarily on fishing, tourism and offshore drilling, and all of these industries have been severely damaged by the spill. Experts have estimated that the lack of tourism alone will cost the area approximately $23 billion by the end of 2013. The commercial fishing industry reported a loss of $2.5 billion, and this number is almost certainly going to continue to increase. BP also suffered both economic and reputation issues as a result of the spill. Although the company is not done settling the long list of lawsuits that were filed against it, analysts believe that BP will end up losing $90 billion, and they have also slipped down from second to fourth in the ranking of largest oil companies.

Health Complications

The National Institute for Occupational Safety indicated in 2010 that they had discovered oil matching biomarkers within the bodies of several of the workers who had worked on the cleanup efforts. Health professionals have also found a large range of problems in both the workers and the local area residents, including breathing issues, mental health problems, headaches, coughing and skin issues. According to Dr. James Diaz, it is likely that the people who were in close proximity to the spill will eventually develop worse problems such as birth defects, kidney and liver disease, cancer and neurological disorders; the individuals who were affected in some way should consult with an offshore injury lawyer.

Although many people originally believed that the majority of the spill had been cleaned up, Hurricane Isaac proved otherwise. In fact, the 2012 hurricane pulled approximately 565,000 pounds of a material that had oil-like properties out of the ocean and dumped it onto the beaches and surrounding areas. Researchers have also recently discovered a phenomenon that has been dubbed the dirty blizzard. Due to this issue, a large quantity of oil is attached to ocean sediments, and it has been estimated that this will cause the local fish supply to remain contaminated for several generations. Due to this, it is expected that the local fishing industry will continue to suffer, and there are also concerns that new health issues will continue to arise in both humans and marine life for many years to come.

Freelance author Anthony Joseph enjoys writing about issues that impact our country, and contributes this article to bring awareness to the long lasting effects of this disaster. Once this event had taken place, British Petroleum and Halliburton quickly denied liability and tried to displace the blame on others. It’s critical that anyone affected by the disaster consult with an offshore injury lawyer like Doyle Raizner without delay, to ensure the protection of their legal rights.

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