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Can an oil spill cause cancers?

  1. Jun 24, 2010 #1
    From what I have read:

    Tar causes cancer in road crews and smokers, gasoline causes leukemia in neighbors to gas stations and petroleum plants, benzene causes bladder cancer and leukemia in rubber workers -

    how about the BP bio-poisoning?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2010 #2
    One thing I have heard is that the active ingredient of Corexit (the chemical dispersant they are using) is known to cause cancer.
  4. Jun 24, 2010 #3


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    Crude oil is loaded with carcinogens, including the ones you mentioned. This spill will end up causing many (I don't know how many, but I'll bet at least 10's of thousands) of cancers. Just another reason to end our addiction to fossil fuels. Those of you who oppose nuclear power should seriously reconsider. With a concerted effort, we could convert our economy to electric vehicles driven by clean, environmentally safe nuclear power.
  5. Jun 28, 2010 #4
    Hell, the benzene alone makes the answer to your question a "yes". Crude oil is a complex entity, and many of its volatiles can be carcinogenic. To what degree based on a given level of exposure... I don't know.
  6. Jun 28, 2010 #5
    And another reason to seize BP's assets, sell the non-cash parts, and use it over time to pay the victims of this mess.
  7. Jun 29, 2010 #6
    I don't follow your reasoning. It seems better to reform the company as we still need oil, and we also don't have the right to shaft ever BP shareholder. There is also the simple fact that a solvent BP can be milked over time for that same money without destroying the company and ever job associated with it.
  8. Jun 29, 2010 #7
    Right. But the other oil companies would buy the wells.

    I wish we still didn't need oil. :)

    Actually, there's an inherit risk in buying into a company. As a shareholder (I won't reveal what securities out of embarrassment), I realize that if the companies in which I own shares went bankrupt, my shares are worth nothing. BP's oil spill related debts will easily exceed their equity.

    The people affected by this need money now, though, not over time. Also, how long do we 'milk' BP?
    The jobs would (more than likely) be replaced by other oil companies absorbing BP's assets.
  9. Jun 29, 2010 #8
    With all due respect, what does this and your previous post have to do with the carcinogenic properties of crude oil in a spill?
  10. Jun 29, 2010 #9
    Sorry, I thought the primary topic at hand was BP in particular. :)

    I was saying that since thousands have been poisoned with carcinogens by BP, that only adds to the case for a seizure of some sort.
  11. Jun 29, 2010 #10
    I understand your point, I just think that's a discussion for the politics section, not biology. As it stands, BP already has 20 billion USD in escrow, with more to come, so I suspect that they will be properly... bled. If that can be done without decimating the company and shareholders, so much the better.

    The other thing that gets me, is that our own government carries a LOT of blame here, so if BP is not on the job, but the same people in the (former) MMS are not doing their jobs, what will change? This is a systemic issue, but the root of it is not new regulations, or dismantling BP: we need to enforce the regulations already on the books. From there, more can be instated if needs be, but until we have that baseline... *shrug*

    What I find interesting, is that we have a ton of people who are going to suffer from maladies such as silicosis and cancer as a result of 9/11... there are already issues surrounding that, and it's just our government and citizens. The source of the money is not the only issue here. Beyond this, if you want to continue this line of discourse, I'm happy to do so in a thread that isn't strictly about the carcinogenic properties of oil.
  12. Jun 29, 2010 #11
    Started a thread in the politics section.
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