Survey of Health Effects in Plaquemines Parish Caused by BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 2010. Louisiana Bucket Brigade / labucketbrigade.org

Points of View from Buras to Venice, Plaquemines Parish

Perspectives on how the community has changed since the oil spill

  • Katrina brought everyone together and the oil spill has split everyone apart. (Restaurant Owner: 9.29.10)
  • Afraid for the health, to lose BP jobs. Can’t fish, shrimp, crab or swim anymore. Aggravated by all the lying, knew there was much more than oil (dispersants). “You could see the dispersants in the air.” (Fisherman: 9.28.10)

Perspectives on how livelihoods are impacted

  • “I’m waiting for money from BP. They gave me a check but it bounced. I don’t have any work. I’m cutting grass to make ends meet. I got two little girls; one needs a bone marrow transplant. Haven’t gotten a check since July. Nothing for August or September. Can’t go to the show, can’t go roller-skating, can’t give anything to my girls. My girl turned 17 this month and I couldn’t give her anything. I’m hurting, and I need help.” (Commercial fisherman/unemployed: 9.30.10)
  • “We worry about when the seafood will sell like normal again and I need to take care of my family. Everyone is worried about how to survive.” (Fisherman/unemployed: 9.29.10)

Statements on odor and potential exposure

  • Resident would like to see a community health center opened in this location because it is too far to get health care. (9.28.10)
  • Feels sick, zombie-ish. It’s gotten worse - there are too many people and store prices have gone up. (Boat captain: 9.28.10)
By the numbers

Survey dates: August 2-6, 2010
Surveys collected: 142
Permanent residents: 78%
Livelihood impacted: 51%
Receiving economic or disaster assistance: 20%
Not receiving assistance but in need: 29%
Considered moving: 12%
Believe exposed to crude oil: 23%
Believe exposed to dispersant: 1%
Believe exposed to both: 30%
Unusual increase in odors: 59%
Unusual increase in cough, skin irritation, nausea or other symptoms: 54%
Sought medical care for symptoms: 17%
Have health insurance: 51%
Use over-the-counter medication more than usual: 37%

The BP Oil Disaster: results from a Health and Economic Impact Survey in Four Coastal Louisiana Parishes [pdf]

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