The Gulf Oil Spill: The Public Health Impact

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

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It’s been one year since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and the consequent Gulf Oil Spill. The oil spill itself was an acute event but the long term follow up will be with public health professionals for many years to come. This course will discuss the post-oil spill issues related to public health. The discussion will include issues associated with recovery, various exposure pathways, response efforts in retrospect, and the public health response in the coming years.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Describe the major post-oil spill issues
  • Explain factors associated with recovery following the spill
  • Describe the natural phenomena that facilitate for recovery
  • Discuss factors related to exposure of VOCs
  • Describe the seafood monitoring program to insure the Gulf seafood safety
  • Discuss oil impact on beaches and health issues
  • Describe issues of stress and mental health effects
  • Discuss risk perception, influence of news media on beliefs, and the importance of clear and consistent messaging