If you needed something to stoke your outrage at BP's handling of the oil disaster, there's this: Clean-up workers are getting sick from exposure to oil and dispersants and BP is reportedly threatening to fire them if they wear respirators.

If that sounds totally backwards that's because it totally is, but according to reports from individuals visiting clean-up sites, BP is telling some clean-up workers that they will lose their jobs if they wear protective breathing gear on the job. Strange, considering the Unified Command for the spill said last week that respirators would be given out to certain clean-up workers.

But while most officials maintain that there's no indication that the clean-up work is hazardous to anyone's health, workers with prolonged exposure to the oil and dispersants are reporting a variety of ailments, from nausea to averse reactions to foods and medicines.

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Some, like New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, are already comparing the safety oversights in the Gulf to those that occurred in the rescue and clean-up efforts after the 9/11 attacks, and a new petition to get Gulf clean-up workers safety equipment has already reached 24,000 signatures. It seems odd that BP would threaten workers with their jobs after the Unified Command's announcement to give at least some workers respirators, and it's easy to want to believe every nasty thing you hear about BP these days, but then again, when it comes to their management of the disaster, nothing can be considered too ludicrous to be ruled out. [SF Gate]