Crude Oil Health Hazards


The information below is out of an excerpt from a report done on the Gulf Oil Spill.  If you did not think Crude Oil was Hazardous to your Health think again.


Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards
Version 1.0 June 14, 2010
Executive Summary
Chemicals in crude oil and dispersants can cause a wide range of health effects in people and wildlife, depending on the level of exposure and susceptibility. Crude oil has many highly toxic chemical ingredients that can damage every system in the body. Dispersant chemicals can affect many of the same organs.
These include:
            respiratory system nervous system, including the brain
            liver reproductive/urogenital system
            kidneys endocrine system
            circulatory system gastrointestinal system
            immune system sensory systems
            musculoskeletal system hematopoietic system (blood forming)
            skin and integumentary system disruption of normal metabolism
Damage to these systems can cause a wide range of diseases and conditions. Some may be immediately evident, and others can appear months or years later. The chemicals can impair normal growth and development through a variety of mechanisms, including endocrine disruption and direct fetal damage. They cause mutations that may lead to cancer and multi-generational birth defects. Some are known carcinogens, such as benzene (CDC, 1999).
Many of the chemicals in crude oil and the dispersants target the same organs in the human body, and this increases the risk and may increase the severity of harm. In addition, the dispersants currently used can increase the uptake (dose) of crude oil chemicals and movement of chemicals into critical organs.
Some people especially susceptible to harm are:
            - those with pre-existing serious health conditions
            - infants, children, and unborn babies
            - pregnant women, especially those carrying multiple babies
            - people working or living in conditions that impose health stresses, including  exposures to other toxic        chemicals
Individual responses depend on exposure and each individuals characteristics.
Here is the complete report on the Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards