‘Gag-Inducing’ Stench Precedes Oil Slick’s Arrival in Louisiana


Reports that the massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has started to come ashore are beginning to come in, the NYT reports:

Oilmap "About 40,000 feet of boom had been placed around Pass-a-Loutre, the area of the Mississippi River Delta where the oil was expected to touch first, a spokesman for Mr. Jindal said.

The Navy provided 50 contractors, 7 skimming systems and 66,000 feet of inflatable containment boom, a spokesman said. About 210,000 feet of boom had been laid down to protect the shoreline in several places along the Gulf Coast, though experts said that marshlands presented a far more daunting cleaning challenge than sandy beaches."

The smell from the slick is preceding it: "New Orleans residents are understandably annoyed over their city being enveloped by the smell of fuel. Mandie Landry, an attorney who works in the city's Central Business District, told Yahoo! News that 'it smells like it'd smell if a bus was in front of you blowing out exhaust fumes right in your face.' Another local resident, Tulane University employee Laura Mogg, told us that she caught wind of the 'terrible' and 'gag-inducing' smell from her office building on the school's sprawling uptown campus."

Health officials have now called for air quality testing:

"If it is determined that air quality issues exist, state officials will immediately inform local authorities and 'take any other action deemed appropriate to protect public health and safety,' they said in a statement.
State health officials advised that some people may be sensitive to changes in air quality, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or headaches.
If residents suffer any symptoms, they should consider staying indoors, ventilate their homes with air conditioning, and avoid strenuous outdoor activity."

Tuna Animals most at risk from the spill include North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, which use the Gulf as a spawning ground from April thought June, sea turtles, Whale sharks, dolphins, brown pelicans, shrimp, blue crab, marsh-dwelling fish, otters, and beach-nesting and migratory shorebirds.

The spill is calling Obama's plans for offshore drilling into question: "Hours before the spill started washing ashore in Louisiana late Thursday, members of Congress issued new calls for Obama to abandon his plans for expanded offshore drilling, and White House officials conceded that the spreading oil slick could cause the president to rethink his position."



  1. virgoboy says

    “If residents suffer any symptoms, they should consider staying indoors, ventilate their homes with air conditioning, and avoid strenuous outdoor activity.”… i like how easy that make that sound. What if you have a job that requires you to work outside for a crap wage and then can’t afford a/c??… rediculous!

  2. JeffRob says

    With any luck at all, this will put the kibosh on any more bipartisan talk of off-shore drilling, and catalyze efforts for real clean energy.

    And if you think I’m being naive, wait 3 months until this thing has spilled more oil than the Valdez, and the entire gulf coast is evacuated. I’m not kidding. They can’t stop it.

    How could we do this to this beautiful home we’ve inherited? It’s hard not to lose sleep thinking about that big hole in the bottom of the gulf just spewing toxic waste all over millions of creatures critical to our entire existence. We need to make some big changes, fast.

  3. JohnnyP says

    At first I couldn’t understand this article as I misread the headline as “GAY-inducing stench…” 😀

  4. Jersey says

    Watch the air polution caused by this give everyone in LA cancer. I’d be taking a long vacation if I lived there because you can’t trust the government agencies to tell you the truth (see Christie Whitman regarding ground zero).

  5. Strepsi says

    “Drill Baby Drill” was one of the most crass and wrong-headed platforms of the GOP — anyone should have been able to see that. The fact that the Obama Administration backpedaled on its opposition to it was pathetic and craven.

    This is exactly why we DO need government, and regulation — because humans are so short-sighted, greedy, and self-interested that we will do the wrong thing, right up until the massive shit hits the fan.

  6. Strepsi says

    P.S.> “Bipartisanship” does not mean you have to meet someone half-way who is 100% wrong.

    P.P.S.> Americans are so self-deluded and hypocritical. This is just like Katrina — the land of “small government” and “State rights” and “individual freedom” and “individual responsibility” comes rushing to the Federal Government every disaster… plus sues on behalf of state industry (Shrimpers already suing BP here). The truth? Americans DO want civil society, shared helping hands, common responsibility, and a government helping the people — y’all have just been brainwashed to think the common good = “evil communism”. Or is “common good” too Canadian a term for me to use? 😉

  7. John Normile says

    what the fuck does bipartisanship have to with with this now? We need to focus on containing an extremely terrible disaster….politics later and hopefully no more drilling without control…

  8. Jersey says

    Here are some hazards from inhaling petroleum vapors:

    Most of the information on the health effects of petroleum products in humans is based on inhalation exposure to petroleum product vapors. Exposure to high levels of petroleum products can cause health effects, primarily on the nervous and respiratory systems. People who inhaled elevated air levels of fuel oil vapors for short periods of time had nausea, increased blood pressure, eye irritation, headaches, light-headedness, and poor coordination. Longer term exposure to elevated levels of fuel oil vapors can cause similar effects on the nervous and respiratory systems and may also affect the blood, liver and kidneys. Petroleum products in contact with the skin may cause irritation and blistering in some people. The elderly, the very young, and people with respiratory diseases may be especially sensitive to the effects of inhaling petroleum vapors. Long-term exposure to petroleum product vapors should be minimized to the extent practical. If petroleum odors are present, measures to reduce long-term exposures should be considered. If you are experiencing health effects you should contact your physician or seek medical help.

    From: http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/indoors/air/oil_spill_flood.htm

  9. patrick nyc says

    At first I thought the Kardashians were down in Louisiana, now I realize it’s not that bad of a stench.

  10. says

    This is so depressing. It’s amazing how so many people just don’t care about this earth which is our ONLY home. If we screw up this place, there’s no where else we can move to escape it. We don’t need any off-shore drilling, we need off-shore wind farms. We need to get ourselves off oil and onto renewable energy — and this *has* to be the mission of our generation. When we’re all gone, we need to make sure those who take up our place do so without needing any fossil fuels for energy production.

  11. David B. 2 says

    soon news video of people washing off tunas with Dawn Dishwashing detergent .. who knows maybe Brad Pitt?

  12. CKNJ says

    All the more reason to condemn loudly the stupid decision to cave to GOP troglodytes that schill ‘Drill, Baby Drill’!

    We do NOT need this and should be concentrating our efforts on getting oil-free independence a happening thing! Why only NOW do we have an eectric car becoming available again? It’s the DAMN oil industry that killed it off the first time around. We need to kick those dirty f*ckers to the curb and concentrate on developing that technology BIG time to get those cars on the market. And those that say it will take too long? It’s technology that many years old and has been worked on all the way along, it’s just the collusion of car and oil companies that has kept it from us for so long. Let’s PUSH that technology!

    Oil companies have been our enemies all the way along for keeping that addiction to oil alive when we did not need to be slaves to it!