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Oil Spill Health Risks

An ear, nose and throat doctor by profession, Dr. Mike Robichaux is working with other concerned Louisianans to cull together data about chemicals found in the blood of oil workers, fishermen and coastal residents.

Those suffering from illnesses possibly related to the BP oil spill will meet at noon Saturday at Robichaux’s home to hear about the doctor’s study, fill out health surveys and talk with others who believe their symptoms are rooted in crude-oil exposure.

The gathering will include a free meal, carnival rides for children and talks from environmental activists and locals who say they have oil-related illnesses. It’s at 4416 La. 1 in Raceland.

The goal is to get people the appropriate help, instead of treating their symptoms as anything other than spill related, organizers said.

“We want something that is a true representation of what is happening on the bayou and the coast,” said Brenda Dardar-Robichaux, Mike’s wife and the former principal chief of the United Houma Nation.

Robichaux, who was not available for comment Thursday, and others say health studies under way are not thorough enough and doctors are not adequately treating people exposed to oil.

“There tends to skepticism in relating these illnesses to the oil spill,” Dardar-Robichaux said.

The local doctor is working with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network to test blood at a lab in Georgia.

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