Gulf Oil Spill 2010: Health & Safety Overview


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This presentation was compiled for the Oil Spill Teach-In at Netroots Nation in Second Life, July 25, 2010.

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Gulf Oil Spill 2010: Health & Safety Overview

  1. Gulf Oil Spill 2010: Health & Safety Overview <ul><li>PF Anderson / Perplexity “Lexi” Peccable (SL) </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging Technologies Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>University of Michigan, Taubman Health Sciences Library </li></ul>
  2. Today’s Topics <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Current Health Data </li></ul><ul><li>Staying Safe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety Basics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hurricanes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compounds & Symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Longterm Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended Sources </li></ul>
  3. Background
  4. May 25, 2010 <ul><li>OSHA's Assistant Secretary David Michaels ... asked that Admiral Allen &quot;stress to BP that their failure to address the issues in the memo raises serious concerns about the safety and health of the workers involved in the cleanup. </li></ul><ul><li>“ BP has continued to fail to provide adequate protective gear and respirators to fishermen working in close proximity to the spilled crude oil and dispersants. The workers are afraid to complain, for fear they will loose their cleanup jobs, their only source of livelihood. BP has threatened to fire fishermen attempting to utilize respirators provided by LEAN, LMRK and other organizations.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Louisiana Environmental Action Network: Protecting the Health of Fishermen Performing Cleanup Activities: </li></ul>
  5. May 28, 2010 <ul><li>SF Gate: Thin Green Line: Oil spill cleanup workers falling sick: 64595 </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico were briefly halted Wednesday after four workers in three separate vessels became sick. Their symptoms included nausea, high blood pressure, chest pain, headaches and shortness of breath.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;They say we don't need respirators,&quot; one fisherman said, shaking his head. &quot;I don't know.&quot; </li></ul>
  6. May 30, 2010 <ul><li>Science Blogs: The Pump Handle: &quot;This scares everybody, the fact that we can't stop this well,&quot; - BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, May 29, 2010: More oil-spill responders hospitalized and exposure information gaps persist (Elizabeth Grossman). </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;As of Saturday afternoon, May 29th, ten oil spill clean-up workers had been admitted to West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) in Marrero, Louisiana. All but two have been hospitalized suffering from chest pains, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>But the thought was, said [hospital spokesperson Taslin Alonzo], that symptoms were caused by some kind of chemical irritant. When asked if the hospital tested incoming cases like these for evidence of chemical exposure, Alonzo told me that it doesn't. &quot;We just treat the symptoms,&quot; she said. </li></ul><ul><li>No respiratory protection was issued, said [Coast Guard Captain Meredith Austin, Unified Command Deputy Incident Commander in Houma, LA] &quot;because air ratings were taken and there were no values found to be at an unsafe level, prior to us sending them in there.&quot; </li></ul>
  7. June 1, 2010 <ul><li>Louisiana Environmental Action Network: BP Tells Fishermen Working On The Oil Spill That They Will Be Fired For Wearing A Respirator </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  8. June 2, 2010 <ul><li>NPR: SHOTS: Oil Cleanup Dirty, Not Toxic, For Workers: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. June 2, 2010 <ul><li>Symptoms: dizziness, headache and nausea; heat stress </li></ul><ul><li>Good news: &quot;And it's reassuring that a federal study of 11,000 workers involved in the Exxon Valdez cleanup did not find many health problems.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Bad news: &quot;Higher temperatures, he says, could release toxins that would otherwise stay locked inside of tarballs. Also, nearly a million gallons of chemical dispersant have been used to break up the oil in the Gulf — far more than was used in Alaska.&quot; </li></ul>
  10. July 8, 2010 <ul><li>SF Gate: Thin Green Line: Sources: BP threatens to fire cleanup workers who wear respirators: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. July 14, 2010 <ul><li>LEAN: Full Interview: Ex Bp spill cleanup worker speaks out about worker safety </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  12. July 23, 2010 <ul><li>Democracy Now: BP’s Hiring of Prison Labor Cleanup Scrutinized </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Prison workers are required to work up to twelve hours a day, six days a week, and are liable to lose earned good time if they refuse the job. Inmates are also forbidden to talk to the public or media.&quot; </li></ul>
  13. July 23, 2010 <ul><li>NBC News: Field Notes: Oil spill illnesses, injuries double in past month (JoNel Aleccia) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  14. Current Health Data
  15. BP Health Report <ul><li>NIOSH Report of BP Health Data: </li></ul><ul><li>Steady increase in incidence of reports </li></ul>
  16. Common Injuries <ul><li>Burns </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Bruises </li></ul><ul><li>Sprains & strains </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts, lacerations, punctures </li></ul>
  17. Injury Location <ul><li>Most often injured locations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Hands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Arm/Elbow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Knee/Leg </li></ul></ul>
  18. Illnesses <ul><li>Most common: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Heat stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Multiple symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Skin reactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Stomach & intestinal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Headache </li></ul></ul>
  19. Who’s In the Clinic? <ul><li>Almost all reports are of injuries & illnesses from cleanup workers </li></ul>
  20. <ul><li>Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, at the IOM. </li></ul>
  21. Air Quality <ul><li>NOAA: Gulf Oil Spill Air Quality Report: </li></ul><ul><li>Map of June flyover areas </li></ul>
  22. <ul><li>Flight path, showing areas tested, range of particle dispersion, range of spill, and red showing the Deepwater Horizon site. </li></ul>
  23. <ul><li>Two charts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Left (a) shows portion of flight part that registered aromatic hydrocarbons. Red shows heaviest distribution, on a line from DWH site toward shore. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right (b) shows organic particulate matter (much denser and broader distribution) </li></ul></ul>
  24. <ul><li>Bar graph compares composition of spilled oil to the measure VOCs (volatile compounds) from the spill site. It isn’t a perfect match, but the two graphs are visibly similat. </li></ul>
  25. Staying Safe
  26. Air Quality <ul><li>Air Quality: &quot;If you smell gas or see smoke or know that fires are nearby, stay indoors, set your air conditioner to reuse indoor air, and avoid physical activities that put extra demands on your lungs and heart.&quot; </li></ul>Image by KK from TEDxOilSpill:
  27. Food <ul><li>Food: &quot;Although crude oil has the potential to taint seafood with flavors and odors caused by exposure to hydrocarbon chemicals, the public should not be concerned about the safety of seafood in the stores at this time.&quot; </li></ul>
  28. Water <ul><li>Water: &quot;Drinking water and household water are not expected to be affected by the spill. However, water used for recreation may be affected. Swimming in water contaminated with chemicals from the oil spill could cause health effects.&quot; </li></ul>
  29. Dispersants & Oil <ul><li>Dispersants: &quot;For most people, brief contact with a small amount of oil spill dispersants will do no harm. However, longer contact can cause a rash and dry skin. Dispersants can also irritate your eyes. Breathing or swallowing dispersants can also cause health effects.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Oil: “If you get oil on your skin, wash with soap and water, baby oil, petroleum jelly, or a cleaning paste for hands such as those sold at auto parts stores. Do not use solvents, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, or similar products to clean oil off skin.“ </li></ul>
  30. What else? <ul><li>Drink lots of clean water, get good sleep, stay positive </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience (Facts, Plan, Connect, Hope, Help) </li></ul><ul><li>American Psychological Association: Shore Up Your Resilience to Manage Distress Caused by the Oil Disaster in the Gulf: </li></ul>
  31. More Info <ul><li>CDC: NIOSH HomeWorkplace Safety & Health Topics: DEEPWATER HORIZON RESPONSE: Medical Pre-Placement Evaluation Indicators for Health Professionals* </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. <ul><li>NOAA: Hurricanes and the Oil Spill: </li></ul>
  33. Compounds & Symptoms
  34. Crude Oil Chemicals <ul><li> </li></ul>
  35. List <ul><li>Benzene </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrogen sulfide </li></ul><ul><li>Ethyl benzene </li></ul><ul><li>Tofluene (aka Methylbenzene) </li></ul><ul><li>Xylene </li></ul><ul><li>Napththalene and Methylnaphthalene </li></ul><ul><li>Generic alkanes (octane, hexane, nonane) </li></ul>
  36. Light Crude Oil Effects <ul><li>Skin contact: skin reddening, swelling, and burning; rash, skin infection </li></ul><ul><li>Swallowing small amounts (less than a coffee cup): upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, but is unlikely to have long-lasting health effects. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  37. Dispersants <ul><li>&quot;Corexit is a poster child for the reformation of the US Toxic Substances Control Act.&quot; Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, at the IOM. </li></ul>
  38. Dispersant Exposure <ul><li>Warning signs: </li></ul><ul><li>On Skin: Rash and dry skin from unmixed dispersants </li></ul><ul><li>In Eyes: Dry and irritated eyes if dispersants blow or splash </li></ul><ul><li>Inhaled: Irritated nose, throat, and lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Swallowed: Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea </li></ul><ul><li>Other: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A metallic taste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liver and kidneys problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passing out. coma </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Risk level for humans: LOW </li></ul>
  39. <ul><li>NOAA Oil Spill Response: Hurricanes and the Oil Spill: </li></ul>
  40. More Info <ul><li>Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Tox FAQS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fuel Oil: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH): </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEANweb): Health Impacts Associated with Dispersants and Louisiana Sweet Crude (Wilma Subra): </li></ul>
  41. Longterm Effects
  42. Major Concerns <ul><li>Carcinogens </li></ul><ul><li>Psychosocial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss & Grief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medscape: CDC and IOM Warn of Adverse Psychosocial, Cancer Effects From Gulf Oil Spill (Emma Hitt, June 28, 2010): </li></ul>
  43. Major Concerns <ul><li>Most at risk: Cleanup workers </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generalized Anxiety Disorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PTSD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suicide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Photo: Geoff Livingston </li></ul>
  44. We Don’t Know <ul><li>&quot;The clearest conclusion from the examination of these studies is that we have very little data ; followup of exposed people has occurred only for a handful of the tanker spill incidents from the past several decades.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testimony : Statement by Aubrey Keith Miller, M.D., MPH, Senior Medical Advisor, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on NIEHS Activities Related to the Gulf Oil Spill before Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, United States House of Representatives; Wednesday, June 16, 2010 </li></ul></ul>
  45. More Recommended Sources
  46. Tracking This Topic <ul><li>University of Michigan Risk Science Center: Gulf Oil Spill and Human Health Impacts Updates: RSS Feed: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @UMRSC @Oil_Spill_2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Louisiana Environmental Action Network: / </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  48. Sources: US Government <ul><li>Restore the Gulf: / </li></ul><ul><li>CDC: Emergency Preparedness and Response: 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: </li></ul><ul><li>CDC: NIOSH: Deepwater Horizon Response: Workplace Safety: </li></ul><ul><li>NIH: National Library of Medicine (NLM): Disaster Information Management Research Center: Crude Oil Spills and Health: </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA: Deepwater Horizon / BP Oil Spill Response: </li></ul>
  50. <ul><li>CDC: Gulf Oil Spill: </li></ul>
  51. <ul><li>NLM: Crude Oil Spills & Health: </li></ul>
  52. Sources: State & Local <ul><li>Florida Department of Health (DOH) / Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP): Deepwater Horizon Health Information Frequently Asked Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>University of Southern Florida Libraries: Disaster Mental Health: </li></ul><ul><li>Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center: Short- and Long-Term Health Impact of the Gulf Oil Disaster (Linda McCauley, Dean School of Nursing): Youtube Playlist: </li></ul>
  54. Sources: Organizations <ul><li>Institute of Medicine: Assessing the Human Health Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: An Institute of Medicine Workshop: Videos: </li></ul><ul><li>TEDxOilSpill: / Videos: PBS Special: </li></ul>
  56. Sources: More Videos <ul><li>Emory University: Gulf Oil Spill and Health: Youtube Playlist: </li></ul><ul><li>Youtube: Deepwater Horizon: </li></ul>
  58. <ul><li>Emory University: Gulf Oils Spill & Health (Youtube videos): Youtube Playlist: </li></ul>
  59. <ul><li>Youtube: Deepwater Horizon Response Channel: </li></ul>
  60. Contact <ul><li>This presentation was compiled by PF Anderson, [email_address] for the Netroots Nation Oil Spill Teach-In in Second Life on July 25, 2010 </li></ul>