Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BP to cleanup workers: "We don't care if you die of leukemia or brain damage. Wear a respirator and you're fired!"

The headline on Racewire is chilling. "BP Threatens to Fire Cleanup Workers Who Wear Their Own Safety Gear."

But at the same time, BP is not supplying respirators and other safety equipment to its cleanup crews.

Already the symptoms of illness are spreading. They include nausea, dizziness and breathing problems.

The article points out that both the oil and disperants getting sprayed on it are "highly toxic" and contain compounds that include benzene, tolulene and xylene. In the long run these can cause leukemia and brain damage.

So why is BP refusing to let its workers wear respirators? Your guess is as good as mine, and what I'm guessing is that BP doesn't want any "negative looking" photographs of people wearing respirators or hazmat suits — even though the workers are clearly dealing with hazardous materials. That kind of photograph in the media would intensify the well-deserved rage against BP.

So for the sake of nicer-looking publicity photographs, BP is willing to kill off some of the workers.

Surefire bet: If the lives of the cleanup workers aren't worth crap to BP, neither is yours.

The Louisiana Environmental Protection Network has since begun getting hazmat clothing and respirators to some of the work crews.

Will BP pay for this? Are they willing to accept a few bad photo ops if it saves workers' lives? Who knows? But you can put your name on a petition to make them pay here.

1 comment: