Photo by Brian Merchant
Dr. Gina Solomon, a Senior Scientist with the NRDC is worried that fishermen enlisted to clean up oil may be unwittingly facing severe health risks. You see, in the effort to clean up the massive oil spill that's leeching across the Gulf of Mexico, BP has employed hundreds, if not thousands, of fishermen. Typically, they're equipped with booms, given a safety course, and then head out to tackle the spill. Problem is the oil itself, and the fumes it gives off, are toxic -- and the fishermen may not be getting the adequate gear to protect themselves from it. In this brief video, Dr. Solomon explains what risks the fishermen face, and what exactly they should be wearing. What to Wear When You're Fighting an Oil Spill
Here, I spoke to Dr. Solomon at a marina in Venice, Louisiana (a main hub of the cleanup effort) about what the fishermen should ideally be wearing:
So, a fishermen setting out to clean up the oil should look something like this:
It's difficult to confirm or deny that they aren't receiving protective gear, as fishermen doing contract cleanup work with BP have been told not to talk to the press. But I can tell you incidentally that the fishermen I've seen gearing up their boats have certainly not been wearing any protective gear at all. As such, they would remain at risk to a number of health woes from exposure to the oil.