Oil spill creates health concerns for coastal residents - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Oil spill creates health concerns for coastal residents

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Although the oil has not yet hit southwest Louisiana, residents near the coast have already begun feeling the short term health effects from the oil spill.

In the last month, a total of 109 oil spill related health cases have been reported in the state. 

These cases have involved short term health effects such as respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting, and skin irritation.

Dr. Ben Degatur of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital said it is too early to tell whether or not these concerns could be long term.

However, experts said they do know some individuals are more at risk than others.

"Most at risk would be the folks involved with the actual clean up and those near pollutants," said Degatur.

But clean up workers are not the only individuals at risk, however.

While 74 of those health cases are clean up workers, 35 of those cases are among the general population.

"Anybody out in the Gulf may be slightly at risk,"said Degatur. "That's because the oil is still out in the Gulf and has not hit land yet."

Volatile Organic Compounds in the air created by the spill can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.

Medical professionals want to remind all workers to wear the proper equipment when cleaning up the spill and to never use their bare hands.

"This oil has been floating around in the gulf and it may have picked up things that you can't see on the outside such as glass or hypodermic needles," said Degatur.

Medical experts urge those visiting or working near the spill to limit their amount of exposure to the air if they have asthma or have a high sensitivity to inhaled VOCs.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing health issues from the spill, feel free to call the LSU Medical Clinic at (337) 494-6767.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • DeQuincy house fire contained Saturday afternoon

    DeQuincy house fire contained Saturday afternoon

    Saturday, July 22 2017 5:55 PM EDT2017-07-22 21:55:49 GMT
    1237 Dougharty Road (Source: KPLC)1237 Dougharty Road (Source: KPLC)

    Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire in DeQuincy early Saturday afternoon.

    DeQuincy Fire Chief Johnny Copeland said the fire department received a call about smoke coming from the house on 1237 Dougharty Road sometime around noon.

    More >>

    Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire in DeQuincy early Saturday afternoon.

    DeQuincy Fire Chief Johnny Copeland said the fire department received a call about smoke coming from the house on 1237 Dougharty Road sometime around noon.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More showers and thunderstorms Sunday before the heat returns this week.

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More showers and thunderstorms Sunday before the heat returns this week.

    Saturday, July 22 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-07-22 21:03:51 GMT
    Mostly cloudy with scattered storms SundayMostly cloudy with scattered storms Sunday

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down and rain will come to an end. The showers always lose their energy around sunset and weaken. Overnight we will be left with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Rain chances are down to 20% overnight. Sunday will be another day with more showers and thunderstorms. We will also have mostly cloudy skies. This will result in lower temperatures compared to the previous few days. 

    More >>

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down and rain will come to an end. The showers always lose their energy around sunset and weaken. Overnight we will be left with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Rain chances are down to 20% overnight. Sunday will be another day with more showers and thunderstorms. We will also have mostly cloudy skies. This will result in lower temperatures compared to the previous few days. 

    More >>
  • Cargo trailer fire on I-10 WB at Westlake exit; exit blocked

    Cargo trailer fire on I-10 WB at Westlake exit; exit blocked

    Saturday, July 22 2017 3:23 PM EDT2017-07-22 19:23:19 GMT
    Fire at Westlake exit (Source: Ashton Richard Sr.)Fire at Westlake exit (Source: Ashton Richard Sr.)

    A cargo trailer caught fire late Saturday morning on I-10 westbound near the Westlake exit. 

    Westlake Police got a call at 10:22 a.m. of the cargo trailer smoking on the interstate, said Westlake Police Chief Chris Wilrye.

    More >>

    A cargo trailer caught fire late Saturday morning on I-10 westbound near the Westlake exit. 

    Westlake Police got a call at 10:22 a.m. of the cargo trailer smoking on the interstate, said Westlake Police Chief Chris Wilrye.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly