Local resident speaks on lasting impacts of the BP Oil Spill

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the start of the BP oil spill disaster, marking the start of one of the largest ecological disasters for the Gulf South in recent history.

On April 20th, 2010, an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Coast of Louisiana, killing 11 rig workers and causing an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Thirteen-years later, many people are just now starting to suffer from serious chronic illness issues or even cancer. BP Oil Spill victim Charles Boggs said, “Oil contains an integral component, a chemical known as benzene. Benzene is a prime first tier direct cause of acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.”

Boggs lives in Long Beach and says his house, bayou, and the air surrounding his property were heavily contaminated with oil and toxins for three years. BP paid $5,500 to have the oil cleaned up from his porch and outside area. “Oil that came into my house, came as air borne. It didn’t come into the water and then came into my house. It came through the air. It formed a slick surface on the house, which the oil was so thick, according to the painter, and according to what BP acknowledged by paying me.”

Boggs is a two-time leukemia cancer survivor and says the toxins from the oil spill impacted his immune system caused him to have even more chronic health issues. “The immediate aftermath as far as I’m concerned is I got sick, very sick. I went to a pulmonologist who found that I had what was called, on a cat scan, ground glass opacities in my lungs. In other words, it looked like ground glass.”

Alexander Blume, attorney with Downs Law Group, says the documented latency periods of cancer mean there will likely be a sharp uptick in cancer from those who were impacted, but they may not realize the oil spill was the cause. “You are just going to see more and more cancer cases pop up.”

“I have been severely afraid of contracting a third leukemia which I have been told absolutely, positively would result in my death.”

Boggs says he just wants his day in court. “I’m looking forward to confronting BP about what they have done to me, to my health initially during the period when the oil was thick in the air, and what they have done to me in terms of my emotional well-being.”

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