Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Dissecting the Post-spill Impact

Environmental Health
Online Course
2 hours
University of Alabama
South Central PERLC

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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill and residual oil continues to require follow-up by public health professionals. Conflicting reports from various scientific groups and governmental agencies contribute to a lingering concern about the effects of the oil. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration and state health agencies have conducted extensive monitoring, however, many consumers are still uncertain about the safety of Gulf seafood. Fear from possible long-term effects of the oil spill and the economic impact on fishermen and the tourist industry continues to impact the Gulf Coast increasing stress and contributing to mental health issues.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Describe the seafood monitoring program to insure the safety of the consumption of Gulf seafood
  • Discuss conflicting reports on the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf and the impact of dispersants
  • Describe possible routes of exposure and health effects from the components of oil
  • Describe issues of stress during disasters and mental health effects
  • Discuss risk perception, influence of news media on beliefs, and the importance of clear and consistent messaging from health agencies
PHEP Capabilities: 
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation
Community Recovery
Responder Safety and Health
Information Sharing