I just received an email from a friend in England, with a link to an article, “The Blue Plague is Evolving,” by Michael Edward.  The link is:

The author interviewed family and friends of the people engaged by BP in the oil clean-up effort.  The people hired to do the clean-up had to sign agreements not to publicly speak about their work or anything about BP operations.  But their agreements did not include speaking openly with their families.

In “Stage One:  The Blue Flu, a/k/a BP Flu,” the article reports,

“every one of those working on the shrimp boat have suffered from flu-like symptoms since the end of May, 2010.  This includes migraine headaches, eye aches, joint aches, ear aches, sever coughing bouts, fevers, vomiting, and swollen glands (especially in the neck”).

The same symptoms are seen in coastal ER’s also.  Both family members and RNs confirm that the symptoms are not caused by any viral flu.  They are directly caused by lack of oxygen due to airborne chemicals and toxic gases.

Family members who work indoors, isolated from the outdoor air, have encountered no symptoms.  Those who work outdoors, even 10 to 20 miles inland, have begun reporting the same symptoms as those on the boats.  In late July, 40 percent of adults living within 10 miles of the coast experienced direct exposure to the spill and clean-up effort.  Of those, 40 percent are reporting the same symptoms.

Along with these symptoms are increasing cases of “severe symptomatic cyanosis,” which include bluish lip color and numbness in fingers and toes.  (Cyanosis is oxygen starvation in the blood.)

People suffering from these symptoms often recover once they are removed from the oxygen depletion source.  Long term exposure is not fully reversible.  Since May, 2010, there has been an epidemic of dead fish, turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales, as they depend on surface water air to breathe in their oxygen.  Research vessels in the northern Gulf report 30-60 percent decrease in oxygen levels.  And algae naturally attack the clean-up chemicals, which depletes the water’s oxygen even further.

In “Stage Two,” the symptoms are spreading to more and more people who have had direct exposure to the toxin and oxygen depleted Gulf air and water.  They’re in immediate danger of permanent biological damage, even death.  And there’s no end in sight.  The oil and gas from the Biloxi Dome area has actually not stopped flowing.  Huge plumes of oil are spewing from other sites in the area.  A lack of surface oil is reported by the media and BP.  However, Corexit – the chemical they use – hides the oil beneath the surface, and is actually more toxic than the crude oil itself.  As more oil and gas fills the Gulf, more toxins are released into the air.

The article refers to it as a plague, because evaporation, storms, and hurricanes can spread these toxins inland.  In concentrated amounts, it will seem as though acid rain has destroyed crops and forests, as well as nearby mammals and fish in streams.  It can also affect potable water and food.

Now, what can you do about all this?

Pointing fingers as to who’s to blame, or bemoaning an inept government or callous corporation, doesn’t help.  And I doubt that you’ll personally head for the Gulf to try to clean up the mess.  This also wasn’t the first oil-related environmental disaster.  Use this as a sign that it’s “about time to act.”  So …

  • Stop buying products – gas or other oil-based products from BP or BP subsidiaries such as AMOCO.  When sufficient people “vote with their feet,” their voice is heard.  Corporations and government have become the masters of “spin.”  Ignore the rhetoric.


  • Don’t take any business or vacation trips anywhere near the Gulf, including the west coast of Florida and the east coast of Mexico.  It might not be good for all those local businesses and economies, but is your health worth it?  (My attorney scuba dives off the Cayman Islands.  I encouraged him to go elsewhere – such as Bermuda.)


  • Add plants, especially broad-leafed plants, in and around your home.  Do what you can to boost the oxygen levels in your immediate living environment.


  • Don’t eat fish or shrimp from the Gulf.  Again, I feel for the local fishermen, but not when it might endanger my health.  And be sure to ask restaurants where a specific food came from.  And if they’re not sure, order something else.


  • And start to transition to more sustainable living and away, as much as possible, from oil-based products.  Organic food, instead of “regular” food in which oil-based fertilizers and insecticides are used.  All-electric cars, using a gas car only for cross-country trips.  Photovoltaic power instead of utility power from coal or nuclear plants.  Passive solar heating instead of home heating oil.  (Besides being healthier, it’s also less expensive.)


While this closing quote wasn’t created in response to BP’s Gulf Blue Plague, it certainly feels appropriate …

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen

if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water.

Don’t sit this one out.  Do something.”

                                                                                        Carl Sagan

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