As of June 5, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals had received 71 reports of health complaints thought to be caused by exposure to pollutants from the British Petroleum oil well blowout off the coast of Louisiana. The department said 50 reports came from among workers involved with the oil spill and 21 came from among the general population. Workers reporting medical complaints included nine with unspecified cleanup duties, seven breaking up sheen, four in offshore work, two burning oil and three deploying boom, according to an Associated Press report. Symptoms from exposure to a variety of chemicals cleared up quickly for most workers, however, there were eight hospitalizations related to the exposure. Nausea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms were among the complaints. The general population complaints were related to odors and the symptoms were considered treatable.
Three people were killed in separate explosions of natural gas pipelines in Texas within a two-day span. A June 8 explosion in the Texas Panhandle that killed two men was the second deadly blast involving workers who accidentally hit natural gas lines. A day earlier, one worker was killed when a utility crew accidentally hit and ruptured a natural gas line in rural Johnson County, about 50 miles southwest of Dallas. In the Panhandle blast, a bulldozer struck a pipeline in a remote area near Darrouzett, about 270 miles northeast of Lubbock and just a few miles from the Oklahoma border.
There is a 76 percent chance that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, according to Colorado State University forecasters. The storm research team on June 2 predicted 18 named tropical storms, with 10 becoming hurricanes – five of which could become Category 3 or higher hurricanes with winds above 110 miles per hour. The new forecast upgraded the team’s April 7 prediction of 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. The team saw a 51 percent chance that a major hurricane would make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, and a 51 percent chance that one would hit along the Gulf Coast.