The Nation on the health toll of BP oil spill The Nation weighs in on the BP oil spill on its two-year anniversary, offering a doozy of a report in its latest issue. It's not the fishes whose health is hurting from the spill. People are getting sick too, and Antonia Juhasz runs down the terrible health consequences the spill that are already cropping out, along with ones that will become more prevalent in coming years. A short-term memory loss is called a "BP moment"; a particular skin ailment associated with oil exposure is called the "BP rash." And that's just getting started. As The Nation tells it, Gulf victims won't be getting the help they're owed from the oil company. "As information about the settlement negotiations comes to light, several critical issues are not being adequately addressed—including the human health crisis brought on by the disaster ... Although it would cover 'certain respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, skin and neurophysiological' conditions, it excludes mental health and a host of physical ailments, including cancers, birth defects, developmental disorders and neurological disorders including dementia."
USA Today on the EPA's failure with cleaning up smelting sites Oil spills certainly aren't the only way to create a health crisis. USA Today offers an investigation into the government turning a blind eye toward old smelting sites, which can (and do) give folks living nearby lead poisoning. Until the 1970s and 1980s, factories processing lead spewed out plumes of smokes laden with the toxic metal that accumulated in nearby soils. The problem today, according to the investigation, is that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to identify old smelting plants and failed in cleaning up the ones it knew of. "People who live nearby — sometimes directly on top of — old smelters were not warned, left unaware in many cases of the factories' existence and the dangers that remain. Instead, they bought and sold homes and let their children play in contaminated yards."