"Several environmental groups are petitioning federal regulators to require employers to document a wider range of illnesses, including cold- and flu-like symptoms, suffered by cleanup workers and emergency responders during oil spills.
Earth Island Institute, Healthy Gulf, Alaska Community Action on Toxics and 12 other groups sent their request to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday. The petition is the latest step in a more than decade-long effort to better protect oil spill responders from a range of long- and short-term health problems suffered after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010 and other spills.
The groups are urging OSHA to reconsider its decision to exempt the common cold and flu from employer recordkeeping requirements. Oil spill exposure often triggers symptoms that mimic cold and flu symptoms, and may be an early indicator of toxic exposure linked to slow-developing lung, heart, and brain illnesses, according to the petition."