Celeste also grew up in Venezuela and Puerto Rico-- also had ties to the industry. She told me about the oil spill at a beach she used to go to growing up -- Ponce Tuque.
"My cousin came to visit around holy week -- April -- 1979 -- they wanted to go to that beach -- so I took them. When they came out they had all these little black dots all over them."
They used a dilute of Kerosene to clean themselves. Kerosene is a petroleum product as well.
Cleaning can be dangerous too...
This from OSHA:
Potential symptoms: Eye, skin, nose, throat irritation; cough, burning sensation in chest; headache; nausea, lassitude, restlessness; poor coordination, confusion, drowsiness, unconsciousness; dermatitis; vomiting, diarrhea; chemical pneumonitis, fire eater's pneumonia (from aspiration).
Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16); CNS effects (HE7); Flammable (HE18).
Affected organs: CNS, eyes, skin, respiratory system.
This from Wikipedia:
The Amish, who limit use of electric appliances for religious reasons, rely on kerosene for lighting and often purchase kerosene-powered versions of appliances such as refrigerators.
At one time the fuel was widely used in kerosene lamps and lanterns. While replacing whale oil, it was considered as 'explosive as gunpowder.' In 1880 39% of NYC fires were caused by defective kerosene lamps.