Workers who were tasked with cleaning up the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been found to have elevated health risks. Blood tests administered to these workers indicate that these individuals have elevated risks associated with the development of conditions including leukemia, liver cancer and other dangerous diseases. Anyone who suffers from an injury at sea should contact a legal professional for help. A maritime attorney can help workers understand their rights when it comes to pursuing compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other financial losses suffered after an accident. An oil rig accident attorney is a legal professional who specializes in cases related to the waterways in the U.S. including the Gulf of Mexico. Houston's University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers conducted the research that determined that these workers have elevated health risks. As many as 170,000 people who worked to clean up the Gulf spill are at risk. Workers who were present during the cleanup process may have developed a greater risk in part from their exposure to oil, there are also risks associated with the workers' exposure to chemicals used in the oil. While safety suits were available for workers to wear during the cleanup process, climbing summer temperatures prompted many people to shed their suits. Benzene found in oil is considered to be a carcinogen. This substance is particularly harmful because it can be quickly absorbed into the skin. Chemicals found in the blood of affected workers may have worked through the bone marrow and liver to cause further damage. There were 117 cleanup workers involved in the study, and all of these individuals had abnormal blood results. The nature of these abnormalities varied widely. A control group consisting of 130 patients who had not been involved in the cleanup of the Gulf spill showed very few of the abnormalities observed in the workers. Abnormalities reach essential parts of the body. Levels of substances that help the kidneys functioning properly were low in some workers' bodies. Low levels of blood-clotting platelets were also observed, and high levels of liver enzymes that could lead to damage were observed in participants who worked to clean up the spill. Doctors conducting the research kept a record of any symptoms felt by participants. Workers complained of chronic headaches, coughing, rashes and shortness of breath. While workers are entitled to compensation for some of the medical bills incurred as a result of health problems that can be connected to the spill, BP claims that exposure to toxic substances was limited. BP maintains that all workers involved in cleaning up the spill were provided with safety equipment and training. Unfortunately, doctors conducting the research are not able to use the results of the study to prove that involvement in the cleanup process caused health risks. The researchers would have had to collect blood samples from study participants before they were exposed to oil and chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico in order to prove the connection. A BP spokesman pointed out that the group of workers who were involved in the study represented less than 0.1 percent of the total number of cleanup workers. These individuals were also referred to the study by their legal representatives instead of being randomly selected for participation. Workers were given reference materials related to the risks of exposure to oil and chemicals that are commonly present during an oil spill. These workers were advised to wear protective gloves, breathing apparatuses and boots to avoid exposure. Researchers will need to study the long-term effects of oil spill exposure in order to determine the risks associated with working on the cleanup crew. Most workers involved in the Gulf spill cleanup are entitled to some compensation.