Health Hazard Evaluation of Deepwater Horizon Response Workers - Interim Report 1A [open pdf - 635KB]
"Initial investigations focused on exposure to dispersant based on patient reports. OSHA [National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health] and CTEH [Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health] reviewed dispersant application records from May 26, 2010; the patients' vessels were approximately 40‐60 miles from the area of dispersant use. When oil was observed by the fishermen, the description was most consistent with emulsified crude oil, which, according to the CTEH report, does not contain free dispersant. All but one of the hospitalized fishermen reported extremely unpleasant odors. The reported odors included 'concentrated soap' and 'bad Clorox' as well as unspecified 'chemical' odors. One patient reported a 'pinesol' taste. The sources of the unpleasant odors or taste could not be determined by investigators after the event. Captains of vessels from Task Forces 1, 2, 3, and 4 reported to a CTEH toxicologist that the symptoms began after Pentene Clean had been substituted for the usual citrus‐based cleaner but this could not be confirmed in the review of other reports and records. Several of the patients had reported symptoms 3 to 7 days before hospitalization and one reported symptoms approximately 20 days before hospitalization. The most frequent signs and symptoms reported by the hospitalized fishermen were headache, upper respiratory irritation or congestion, nausea, elevated self‐ monitored blood pressure, fatigue, and chest pain or pressure. Two of the fishermen were hospitalized for evaluation of potentially serious medical problems that are common in the United States. The rest were hospitalized for observation because of their reported exposure to chemicals. Six patients were discharged within 1 day of admission; one was discharged after an additional day of testing"
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