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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Immigrant Workers Sick in New Orleans, and Water Testing

This article in the Associated Press explains that many immigrant workers in New Orleans have been taken to the hospital, ill from exposure to the environment in New Orleans:

Advocates said the lack of protective gear is leading to health problems. Juan Alvarez, director of the Latin American Organization for Immigrant Rights in Houston, said he recently took five or six workers to the hospital after they complained of respiratory problems and diarrhea upon their return from New Orleans.


In a number of stories today, there is news that testing on the water around New Orleans has been tested and shown to be relatively clean. In fact, the testers say, it's no more dangerous than normal flood waters.

Yet, the person who conducted the testing, Pardue, states all the shortcomings of his tests:

1. Limited sampling ("snapshot").
2. No sampling was done in industrial areas where spills occured.
3. Samples were taken just after the flooding, before chemicals would have had time to spread.
4. The leftover sludge, still present in the area, is the most hazardous.

So, take these results with a grain of salt. We're all awaiting testing being done by the NRDC which is widespread and follows the more scientifically sound two-week monitoring period.


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