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Jun-30-2010 22:55printcommentsVideo

'Almost All of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Workers are Dead'

Oil Worker life spans and dangerous times in a world of BP and greed.

Exxon Valdez catastrophe
These are the people we are talking about, above & below, photographed during the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska.
Photo courtesy: and other sources.

(SALEM, Ore.) - It is the last thing most of us expected to hear: nearly every single worker from the Exxon Valdez oil spill Disaster is now dead, according to a CNN News report. The video accompanies this article. We're talking about a lot of people. I personally became an oil spill volunteer at the time here in Oregon, though I never got my hands very dirty, so to speak. Good thing as it turns out.

Exxon Valdez spill 20-years later

According to an article by the Institute for Southern Studies, relating to the current spill: "Already, a large number of workers cleaning up the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico report that they are suffering from flu-like symptoms." [1]

CNN is warning volunteers on the current Gulf Spill of this dire information. The fact that the workers from the 1989 Alaska spill have died, surely will give current workers something to think about.

CNN and numerous other groups including, have revealed the fact that this is very unhealthy work. Exposure to contaminants is something humans are supposed to avoid, but in this case it is a draw card for work in a broken national economy.

The average life expectancy for an Exxon Valdez oil spill worker according to the CNN report, is 51 years.

That figure is a far cry from the average American lifespan of 78.2 years, which is a pathetic figure in its own right; as the U.S. is rated #38 for life expectancy in the world, behind nations like Israel, Singapore, Costa Rica, South Korea and Cuba[2].

Exxon Valdez workers will see 27.2 fewer years in this life than the average American.

This is their reward, for cleaning up the mess of this alcohol induced shipwreck; possibly the worst Driving Under the Influence case in world history.

Gloomy Prospects

A quote in a Business Insider article by Michael Snyder, reveals problems currently affecting Florida beach residents, who are not working on the spill, just surviving near it.

"My 2 friends and I have been sick with headaches and vomiting, also it feels like heartburn, just feeling lousy. We have not been to the Gulf but there is an inlet at the end of our street. We live on the West side of Pensacola FL. near the Bayou. At first I thought it was just me. My 2 friends are having the same symptoms, all at the same time. Right now I have a dull headache, and my stomach is queasy. I have been thinking maybe the chemicals from the oil cleanup or the oil itself is causing us to be ill. It has been raining all day off and on. I started feeling ill late last night. I was wondering if anyone else in Pensacola have the same symptoms." [3]

The article surmises that the American Dream isn't about making a high wage for a short time and then checking out before you get to know what your grandchildren look like. I certainly have to agree.

This is the CNN news clip that launched the news

The mess brought about by disrupting Mother Nature this way, leaves behind what is increasingly becoming a "toxic soup" of oil, dangerous methane, deadly benzene, hydrogen sulfide, toxic gases, and approximately two million gallons of highly toxic dispersants that include Corexit 9500.

The methane alone, according to some experts, could turn the current oil spill into a fiery explosion that would literally devastate the entire section of the globe[4].

A methane bubble identified beneath the ocean floor, near the spill point, could lead to a situation that would, according to Richard C Hoagland, celebrity of the science world; author and radio host, resemble an underwater Mount Saint Helens explosion[5].

In essence, the Deepwater Horizon site is on top of an underwater volcano with magma near the surface constantly rising and falling. Hoagland, whose theory is backed by experts like Dr. William Deagle, says if this worst case scenario takes place, it will generate a massive tidal wave that will travel at a speed of 400-600 miles an hour, right over the top of Florida, which has an elevation above sea level of approximately 100 feet[6].

According to the Business Insider, "A large number of workers cleaning up the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico report that they are suffering from flu-like symptoms."

A source in Pensacola cited by Snyder in his article, Citizens for Legitimate Government, states that, "400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches." [7]

Oil spill cleanup work may sound like a fast buck, but it seriously, could hardly be worth the health risk.



Gulf Methane levels 40% instead of normal 5%, Scientists Worried -

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous February 11, 2016 2:57 pm (Pacific time)

I worked on the Valdez spill for two years. Was coated with oil pretty much every day. My sister and father also worked on it. We, and everyone we know (hundreds) that worked on it are all still alive and well. Dad is pushing 80 and still hiking in the mountains of Alaska. Crazy bad statistics you quote here.

Terrance Van Gemert. June 12, 2014 10:48 am (Pacific time)

I never knew this information as to the expansion of shipping Tar sands oil out of Kitmat BC deep water port.. They seam to say that spill can be controlled but the problem is this can cause major effect to the sammon stock which both alaska and BC share the same waters and fishing stocks. Never mind the lives of those in volved in a clean up which they say they can control..

Whitney Mulqueen February 26, 2014 8:14 pm (Pacific time)

I was a worker on the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Clean-up at Alinchak Bay in Alaska across from Kodiak Island and I am 47 and very healthy and very much alive. I was 23 when I worked on the clean-up.

Thanks for your comment, glad to know.

christina February 28, 2013 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

the event was really awful to read about even today and im still in high school and we are learning about it.

Nicolette Duffus November 8, 2012 6:17 pm (Pacific time)

Just want to say hello and THANK YOU to ALL the workers of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. My dad (Clifford Duffus) was a Foreman on the Exxon Valdez clean up and I'm VERY happy to say that he is VERY alive and kickin' at the young ripe age of 76!! Livin' life off the beautiful coast of Oregon here. Would be nice to know where the hell that magic #51 yr. life expectancy came from?.. bullish!+feed it to the worms! ~LONG LIVE THE EXXON VALDEZ WORKERS!!

Rae November 1, 2012 1:01 pm (Pacific time)

One thing about this article is that I find a lack of specific details. How did they find this information? What were the complaints of the people who died? It is important to note that the way the Exxon Valdez oil was cleaned up was very different from the Gulf Oil Spill. In the Exxon Valdez spill workers were using hot water and toxic chemicals to get the oil off the rocks and beaches. They were exposed to fumes from the chemicals due to the use of hot water. I am not saying there were not toxic chemicals in the Gulf Spill. Just comparing the workers from the Exxon Valdez spill to the BP Gulf Oil Spill is difficult at best due to the way the oil was cleaned up. If you want to know more about oil spill workers from Exxon Valdez spill, check out Riki Ott's book on the spill.

JoannaK October 21, 2012 9:53 pm (Pacific time)

Hi im writing this in hopes of maybe getting some infromation and resources. I was one of the first responders or volunteers on the La gulf oil spill. No we were not trained or allowed to wear protective gear. We were told it would send the wrong message to people and we were not allowed to talk to any media at all. I worked in a few different positions including deckhand and beach clean up and it was all the same we were told if we did talk to the media we would be fired on the spot and most of us like myself really needed the job to support our families. Well i started noticing health issues in October of last year just a few months after i was laid off for talking to a magazing editor about what we were doing. I was not aware he was with the media he had a workers badge and blended in with the rest of us so i didnt see the harm in conversating with him till i got termination papers a few days later. At this point im having serious medical issues and have no insurance to see a doctor so im wondering if any of you have any advice for me. Its getting to the point im having trouble controling my legs and im having violent muschel spasms all over my body

dk March 27, 2012 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

this is a lie a really a blatant lie...why would you print such nonsense

Jaime Rodriguez March 20, 2012 8:18 pm (Pacific time)

I worked the Exxon Valdez cleanup, and I'm still here, and so are most of my friends who worked it. The one's who have died succumbed to old age, accidents, or diseases not related to the spill. I am all for making Exxon and BP take responsibility, but I cannot abide the hyperbole in the stupid headline of this story. Bull crap spin is still bull crap whether it is spun from the right or the left. It is hack journalism.

mamna February 28, 2012 11:49 am (Pacific time)

did he die?

maven February 28, 2012 11:47 am (Pacific time)

am happy for him

lala February 28, 2012 11:45 am (Pacific time)

its all the presdents folt yaaaaaaaaa i go with the girl ya

ashely February 28, 2012 11:43 am (Pacific time)

i think its horrible and the presdent doing nothing just laying his fat butt down he should drown in the oil if u with me log on and say ya

Stephen November 26, 2011 12:51 am (Pacific time)

the volcano ridiculousness did it for me. there arent any volcanoes in the gulf, period. the closest place that magma approaches the surface is in mexico. the dry, non saltwatery part.

Terry September 15, 2011 11:20 am (Pacific time)

I live in Alaska where most of the population living up here during the spill helped in the clean-up efforts.. and we are all still alive and kicking!! this article is a hoax meant to stir up political endeavors!!

david park serrao October 25, 2010 11:26 pm (Pacific time)

Hi im an 8th grader on the island of oahu HI and im doing a history day project on the exxon valdez and my opinon is its sad to know that people who helped to clean up this big oil spill is dead it is really sad and for those people who are still alive I thank you very much

deral August 20, 2010 1:15 am (Pacific time)

Tim you are a hack. Kennedy can't even say the name of the ship correctly. Then when you get pissed you just type your response in bigger text and forget to add punctuation. What a pro you are.

Tim King: Thanks deral!

juan July 16, 2010 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

Did he died?

Bunch Fan July 14, 2010 2:09 pm (Pacific time)

At least Vin Broccoli is still alive.

Richard July 9, 2010 11:59 am (Pacific time)

This type of reporting gives hack reporting a bad name. As an Alaskan who works in health care, I can say that if most of the Exxon Valdez works are dead and they were people who live in Alaska, the first place you should look is to their behaviors. According to a 2010 study by the University of Alaska Anchorage, addictions and substance abuse play a role in nine of the state's top 10 causes of death and poor diet and nutrition and exposure to harmful pollution are the next most significant factors in Alaska deaths.
If a lot of those dead Exxon Valdez workers are from Alaska, you might want to check their death certificated to see if liver failure due to alcohol abuse had anything to do with their death. And, no you can’t blame the Valdez for high drinking rates in the state (the highest in the nation), Alaskans were drinking like fish before they discovered oil on the North Slope.
Get you facts straight

Tim King: They are straight, and this story has been heavily viewed.  I am happy to include your comment, but the hack reporting comment is stupid and needless.   

be July 8, 2010 8:47 am (Pacific time)

Well, that was interesting until you mentioned Richard Hoagland.

Mike J July 8, 2010 6:29 am (Pacific time)

I was trying to figure out where the magic number "51" came from, and found this: "The average age of a person working in Valdez was fifty-one and they're mostly dead now," says Arlen Braud, the attorney representing the Louisiana plaintiffs. So, today, the average age of those workers would be 72. Not quite so surprising most would be dead now, given the health problems they've suffered. Note that the person speaking, Merle Savage, is 71 herself, and doesn't look to be on her deathbed.

John L July 5, 2010 10:22 pm (Pacific time)

I agree this info should be passed on, but in your article it would have been more accurate to say the info came from a guest on CNN. Even if this guest is a Kennedy, it would be more truthful to qualify the information as appearing from a guest rather than a CNN report and it also would be more transparent to readers if the information were reported as not being checked. I became aware of your article because Alex Jones is talking about the same video. He is making the same mistake (my opinion) of not fully qualifying the information. I wish both you and he would do this so that if the info turns out later not to be true that both of you are not embarrassed for passing this on as verified truth, which clearly it is not. I tend to believe her like you do. And I am very glad you have passed this information along.

B. Baume July 4, 2010 2:21 pm (Pacific time)

Tim King - You say this is is a CNN report when it is, in actuality, an unsubstantiated comment by a *guest* on a talk show. That guest, Kerry Kennedy, is a human rights activist, not a health or toxic spill expert. You also state that you, personally, believe the allegations to be accurate. Is this belief based on scientific studies or intuitive knowledge?

Tim King: There has been a lot of back channel discussion regarding this; Kennedy is the daughter of U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, do you think that makes her statements more substantial than that of an "unsubstantiated" guest comment?  I realize people will slight anyone or anything when it doesn't fit their political or business agenda.  I don't think Kennedy cares about anything but human beings.  That is worth more than all of the money in the world.   

From Wikipedia:

Since 1981, Kennedy has worked as a human rights activist, leading delegations into countries such as El Salvador, Gaza, Haiti, Kenya, Northern Ireland, and South Korea. She was also involved in causes in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sudan, and Pakistan.

She established the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1988 and was the Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial until 1995. She is also the chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council, and has been published in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times. She is a judge for the Reebok Human Rights Award. 

Kennedy also travels the country giving speeches and presentations and calling on her audiences to stand up and fight against human rights violations


Bryan Lovato July 2, 2010 7:17 pm (Pacific time)

Semper Fi Tim! Keep doing what u gotta do bro!

gp July 2, 2010 2:43 pm (Pacific time)

Shepton, Is your team working on the Gulf spill? If so, do they do training of the volunteers? There is talk that volunteers are not being trained to use masks and they are told not to talk to press so it is tough to find the truth. Maybe you know something. Have you seen Kindra Addesens videoed interview where she claims this, you can see her on youtube. She was selected to go as a citizen observer to govt and BP meetings and tours and is a fisherman and Louisiana Gulf resident.

shepton July 2, 2010 6:33 am (Pacific time)

My reply has not appeared. The Team was from Oil Spill Response, Southampton UK, who were the first responders to arrive from out of state while the oil was at it freshest and most volatile. I have been to over 50 spills worldwide and am still very much alive at 67.

shepton July 1, 2010 5:53 pm (Pacific time)

The team was from Oil Spill Response, Southampton UK, the first team from outside Alaska to arrive onsite at the Valdez spill, whilst the oil was at its freshest and most toxic.

I have been involved in spill respoinse in many parts of the world for over 28 years and I am still alive. This story and the health effects of oil spills needs much more research
before being put out as a fact. I am afraid this uncritical reporting of "sources" has happened all too often in this spill

Editor: Well thanks for bringing this to the table.

kookykat July 1, 2010 12:16 pm (Pacific time)

lets look into developing software to eliminate automatically all morons and haters from legitimate conversation.omg no wonder we humans can never really get any real change accomplished. jerry springers audience has become the majority voice.

Bart July 1, 2010 9:07 am (Pacific time)

You don't understand how they get at the average life expectancy rates do you? For example...

Editor: Your racist comments posted here under multiple names will not be allowed

Mark Catlin July 1, 2010 3:44 am (Pacific time)

I can find no evidence to back up the claim that almost all Exxon Valdez oil spill workers have died, other than a CNN video. I support better health and safety precautions for the Gulf oil spill cleanup workers but unsunstantiated claims like this are not helpful.

Shepton July 1, 2010 3:10 am (Pacific time)

This is arrant scaremongering. Did anyone check this story before publication? To say that all Exxon Valdez workers are dead is absolute nonsense. I personaly know many of them and of a team who were involved from the UK, all are alive and well.

FUrthermore it is highly unlikely that residents will suffer health problems and I suspect many are psych-sematic. The toxic volatile fractions will have evaporated many miles from the shores leaving the heavy residue as tarballs and emulsions. As long as people keep this off theoir skin there should be no health problems.

Stories like this will just feed the lawyers.

And where did the mysterious underwater volcano come from? are there any others in the region? NO. So again this is a massive scare story with no foundation.

I think this is irresponsible reporting

Tim King: I attributed this report to CNN, why don't you help by naming this group that you mentioned since it is a 'team'?  My intention is not to scare people, but I believe the figure cited in the CNN report is accurate.  I certainly think the people involved have every right to know.  

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