New Results: Fifty Percent of Residents Surveyed Experienced Health Impacts from Chalmette Refining AccidentApril 9th, 2013
Contact: Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 504.484.3433
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New Results: Fifty Percent of Residents Surveyed Experienced Health Impacts from Chalmette Refining Accident
(New Orleans) Fifty-five
of 110 people surveyed by the Louisiana Bucket
The Rapid Response Team is a group of trained personnel who go door to door in communities impacted by chemical emergencies. The team went to Algiers on Thursday, April 4th, one day after the accident at Chalmette Refinery caused a chemical release throughout the New Orleans metro area. The team does not deploy during emergencies due to risks of chemical exposure.
Respiratory problems, headaches and nausea were among the health problems reported by the 55 people who experienced health problems. Over 100 residents reported their problems to the iWitness Pollution Map. “I was nauseated and my daughter and my nephews are all sick,” reads a report from April 4th.”
The total number of health reports from the 110 surveyed is as follows. Note that some people reported multiple symptoms.
28 (25%) - respiratory irritation
22 (20%) - nausea
19 (17%) – headaches
10 (9%) – eye irritation
Two people went to the doctor for their symptoms. Others bought medication.
Local residents’ experiences are detailed on the iWitness Pollution Map, http://map.labucketbrigade.org/reports. Among the reports that have come in so far:
April 3, 12:24 pm: “My mom suffers from asthma and coughed repeatedly. I am concerned about the long term health problems we may suffer from the spill.
April 3, 2:34 pm: “When I had gotten off of work at 2:30 am there was a weird smell in the air. At 10 am the smell woke me up it was all outside and inside my home. Which brought on a migraine and nausea!”
April 4, 7:14 pm: “I was calling on behalf of yesterday's spill which was April 3rd 2013. I was smelling a burning chemical smell. And I was just uh, oh and it triggered my son off - I had a headache he has asthma and he was coughing and stuff. My oldest children were coughing.”
Given the refinery’s ongoing problem with accidents during rain and storms (it was raining on April 3rd), the Louisiana Bucket Brigade is calling on ExxonMobil to publicly release its storm preparedness plans.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an
environmental health and justice organization supporting neighborhoods’ use of
grassroots action to create informed, sustainable communities free from