Physician Worries About the Possible Long-Term Health Impact for Katrina’s Survivors, Workers

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Isaac Eliaz, MD is speaking out on the possible long-term health impact of Katrina for some folks. He is worried about survivors and workers wading through the sewage and absorbing toxic chemicals and metals, especially lead. He is donating heavy metal test kits to help people identify their individual exposure.

"There are truly no by-standers in this national tragedy," said Isaac Eliaz, MD. "Each of us has a personal responsibility to lend a hand in our own way – this is the only way that our country will heal from this trauma on a personal and collective basis." Dr. Eliaz whose clinical practice is in the SF Bay Area is sharing his medical expertise and concern about the health impact for the people who have been exposed to the toxic muck in New Orleans – sewage, e-coli, various viruses, heavy metals, lead concentrations and poisons that have been part of the aftermath of Katrina. "There are serious short and long term health implications that will be experienced if attention is not paid to this issue," he added. "Pregnant women should be especially concerned because a fetus cannot handle the toxicity as well as an adult."

While, food, water and housing needs are paramount, Dr. Eliaz believes that getting rid of the toxins must happen to eliminate the very real threat to the victims and rescue workers in the area. He stresses that it’s going to become essential. "These toxins (especially lead) can cause both long-term and immediate health problems. They directly enter the blood stream and soft tissue of the body, the build-up of which could cause a breakdown of the immune system leaving the body vulnerable to infection as well as illness for years to come," he added.

These potential health problems have inspired Dr. Eliaz to help by educating the public and personally donating test kits to people who have been affected. "The public health crisis in the aftermath of Katrina is going to increase if people do not find a way to detoxify," he said. "After people hydrate, feed their families and themselves and establish a roof over their heads, this should be one of their next priorities, so that they are able to emerge from this catastrophe in reasonable good health. This is my personal advice and my offering of support." Dr Eliaz has reached out to FEMA to give out the kits and cleansing products.

Please contact Constance St John at 707-748-7756 for more information.

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Constance St. John