2005_11_health_oil.jpgWhen most of us think of oil spills, we think of cute seal pups that end up coated with the stuff, with scruffy Greenpeacers on bended knee trying to scrub them clean. But some Brooklynites have had only one thing on their mind thanks to a 55 acre oil spill that took place over 50 years ago: cancer. A 1950 tanker explosion that leaked almost 17 million gallons of oil and gas into the ground has given Greenpoint, Brooklyn a lingering smell that many longtime residents say lets them know that they're close to home on the BQE. But according to the NY Times, a lawsuit was filed in October against 3 oil companies on the behalf of several residents who claim the accident has caused increased cancer rates in the neighborhood immediately above the contaminated ground. And as none other than Erin Brockovich is consulting on the case, a little surrounding media circus is to be forgiven.

Image from International Bird Rescue Research Center