A licensed medical doctor says he is currently treating patients with symptoms of toxic exposure he believes originates from the BP oil spill.
He's waiting on blood test results of pateints who work in the Vessels of Opportunity program, who were exposed to high levels of hazardous chemicals--but they may not be the only ones at risk.
The same volatile organic compounds found in petroleum product and dispersents are also present in just about every city and state in America.
Dr. Rodney Soto runs the Younger You Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Santa Rosa Beach. He is a licensed medical doctor who specializes in preventative care.
"They're going to be found regardless. Up to what degree that becomes normal depends on how quickly your body can get rid of them" Dr. Soto says.
Dr. Soto also says he's seeing more patients who are testing positive for toxic agents associated with the oil spill in excess of the 95th percentile.
If they're spreading beyond the shoreline, could we all be at risk?
"If you add to that with the environmental load that we have, the system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, up to some degree, can take care of that, but when you get a huge load of toxins and chemicals, then the system gets overhwelmed and can't take care of it. It stays in the tissues effecting their functions; Brain functions, immune system, hormonal function etc. It effects the overall aging process, in general, but most importantly the risk of significant diseases in the future".
Nobody really knows the long-term health effects of the largest oil spill in our nation's history but a simple blood test can detect your volatile solvent levels. It's a procedure Dr. Soto now finds himself doing quite often these days.
"I will do this for anyone who wants to be tested. I don't want to advertise that in anyway to promote or create business. It's a decision of their own. I don't force anyone to come. They have their free choice and it's a matter of who they want to see for it. They can all see their primary care doctor to test for it, and primary care doctors can do that" Dr. Soto says.
Dr. Soto also stresses that the body may be able to handle a small amount of different toxins but the cumulative effect of multiple toxins can create a perfect storm, so-to- speak, that could manifest in health problems later in life.