Do politics determine health advisory on beaches?

BP tells us that the tar ball and the oil mousse on the beach are hazardous. Every Escambia Disaster Update begins with “DO NOT TOUCH oiled or injured wildlife. Report your finding to 1-866-557-1401.” Clean-up workers wear HazMat suits and wear gloves in handling it.

Researchers have shown us the oil and tar don’t go way just because the visible globs on the surface of the sand are picked up.

The sand is contaminated.

Yet, Dr. John Lanza and the Escambia County Health Department lifted the advisory for the beach. Lifted!!!! Shouldn’t we be erring on the side of caution?

Does Dr. Lanza’s decision indemnify BP from any claims or lawsuits from people who get sick from being on the beaches? BP has warned us, but Lanza told us the beach is safe—how can we blame BP when our own health officials fail us?

Closing the beach may be a political nightmare, but what are we doing to those who may be exposing themselves to health risks—completely believing all is safe?

County officials will have a difficult justifying shutting down the beach without Lanza’s recommendations. Hotels and beach businesses would go wild. Lanza is the one who has to be the catalyst.

He should be, at the very least, testing the sand on our beach more extensively. Tell us what the risks are.