Study finds increased cancer risk in Gulf spill cleanup crews [View all]
TUESDAY, SEP 17, 2013 02:21 PM EDT
Study finds increased cancer risk in Gulf spill cleanup crews
Workers exposed to the spill have "significantly altered blood profiles"
BY LINDSAY ABRAMS
The workers called upon to clean up BP’s mess in the wake of the 2010 Gulf spill are at an increased risk for blood-related disorders, including cancer, a study found.
The research, which was published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that compared to those who had not been exposed to crude oil — or the chemical dispersants used to clean it up — workers displayed significantly altered blood profiles, liver enzymes and somatic symptoms. Put together, the researchers told Fuel Fix, the signs indicate a number of potential health problems:
The workers had decreased levels of blood-clotting platelets, as well as lower numbers for blood urea nitrogen and creatinine, which are indicators of kidney health.
The amount of three liver enzymes — alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase — in the cleanup workers’ blood also was higher than the non-exposed patients, a warning sign of liver dysfunction and damage.