Local doctor links spill to symptoms

Rodney D. Soto, medical doctor for the Younger You Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, recently started testing and treating patients in relation to high levels of volatile solvents in the blood stream that he says may be linked to BP’s oil spill in the Gulf.

“What I am concerned most about is a long-term effect, that won’t even show up for years, but are going to have tremendous implications in human immune system and hormonal function and brain function,” Soto said.

These compounds (petroleum and dispersants) are liposoluble; meaning they have a “high affinity for fat,” Soto said.

While the clinic specializes in “anti-aging and aesthetic medicine,” Soto points out that he is a medical doctor licensed in two states. He said the medical community has been monitoring the spill’s impact but has failed to develop adequate treatment methods. 

“It is not the fat that you would think of, it is the fat tissue in your body; the brain is 70 percent fat and the glands, immune cells, the intestinal tract, thyroid, breast, prostate, the organs and systems. That is why it causes all of these disorders,” Soto said. “That is why it is so significant for children.”
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Children’s brains and reproductive organs and processes are still forming, which could potentially make their exposure to the petro chemicals even more significant.

Okaloosa Island resident Joseph Yerkes says he recently tested positive for high levels of volatile solvents in his blood and is being treated for toxic exposure.

His longtime attending physician at the Immediate Care Center in Fort Walton Beach performed the test at Yerkes’ request, after he experienced multiple symptoms related to exposure of this type, such as tiredness, lethargy, headaches, blisters, non-healing sores on his elbows and head, as well as an aggravating cough and chronic body aches.

Yerkes was referred to a toxicologist following testing. The doctor gave him the sobering news.

“He was very clear about his diagnosis, explaining how dangerous and damaging these chemicals can be to our bodies, and concluded all of my symptoms are due to the elevated, abnormal levels of chemicals present in my system from the Gulf oil spill,” the former Vessels of Opportunity operator, who was employed by BP, told The Sun in a recent e-mail.

Yerkes is among a growing number of people testing for high levels of volatile solvents in his blood, one watchdog group claims.

According to Mississippi Riverkeeper of the Waterkeeper Alliance, blood samples from eight individuals from Florida (Pensacola) and Alabama, male and female, residents and BP cleanup workers “were analyzed for volatile solvents and all came back with Ethylbenzene and m,p-Xylene  in excess of 95th percentile values of 0.11 ppb for ethylbenzene and 0.34 ppb for m,p-Xylene.” The highest concentration value was four times the 95the percentile.

The report went on to say, “The blood of all three females and five males had chemicals that are found in the BP crude oil.”

Read full article at The Walton Sun

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