Mysterious health scare grips north Plaquemines
By Jason Browne
An unknown substance has provoked an outbreak of serious respiratory problems in more than a dozen Plaquemines residents along the East and Westbank of the river near sites where ships offload. There’s no proof that the ships are causing the problems, but the husband of one victim in Dalcour has gathered alarming evidence, which he brought to the parish council Aug. 24.
David Morgan’s wife, Jan Morgan, spent two weeks in the intensive care unit several months ago with acute respiratory failure that David believes was the result of breathing in heavy metals and chemicals from nearby ships. Morgan said those substances include known carcinogens like talc, fine metals like pig iron and cleaning agents like muriatic acid that are either the ships’ cargo, material used to clean the ships, or a mixture of both. When David, a Plaquemines Sheriff ’s deputy, found out nearby neighbors were experiencing similar symptoms, he began investigating.
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