Sunday, August 1, 2010

CDC - Reports on Gulf Oil Disaster 2010 - Human Health

(link)Deep Water Horizon - Emergency Report on Health Effects - 2010

Today's Report is a detailed explanation of Human Health effects being monitored by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

  • The Gulf Coast Oil Spill can affect human health. Hydrocarbon products produced from petroleum - have toxic effects. Crude light petroleum is not as bad, but it is not healthy.
  • Crude oil contains over 1000 compounds (hydrocarbons are the clincher). Alkanes, cycloalkanes - mixed with - organic compounds have nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Other substances that are alarming, and dangerous are metals, such as iron, nickel, copper and vanadium. The scientific community can expound.
  • This report states that the lighter hydrocarbons that include benzene, xylene, toluene evaporate within the first 1- 2 days. Usually before reaching shore
  • The medium and heavy oils often make near to or land on shore. This is also called "weathered" crude oil or "mousse." The dangers come from particulate matter (too small to see with the human eye. ppm = parts per million are how particulate matter is measured.
  • The particulate matter is from the Fumes of the "mousse" that comes near to, or lands on the shore.
  • The "weathered" crude oil fumes, can cause "oil burns", and fumes created from the mix with oil dispersant's are toxic to human health. How much harm depends on many factors.
  • One study, (1991 NIOSH) shows the first effect is irritated mucus membranes.
  • Real symptoms of mental or behavioral health - Anxiety, Stress and Depression have been frequently seen in previous oil spill disasters (Aguilera 2010) The mental conditions must be considered when treating patients. (No, it is not 'all in your head.')
The summation of this announcement is that for individuals who are easily affected by respiratory irritants, those who have been exposed to the toxic fumes need to find a clean air, and clean water source. Get into an air conditioned area with recycling air.

If a person is contaminated on the skin, wash with soap and water immediately. DO NOT USE GASOLINE-SOLVENTS - or INDUSTRIAL CLEANERS - in a tight spot, you can use Baby Oil or tanning lotion to remove oily, tar-like residues.

Children and women who are expecting should not be exposed to the oil, contaminated water, or fumes.

To Report Health concerns call 1-800-222-1222 or online at

This report, (available at the Link on the top of the page) goes on to recommend resources and steps for finding help for patients affected by the Deep Water Horizon toxic, human physical & mental health issues.

The best advice is to avoid waters and air affected by the "mousse" and fumes.

Workers who are responding to clean-up efforts will be affected mentally and emotionally - it is that being Human thing. Under "Mental Health" the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will respond.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Traumatic Incident Stress: Information for Deep water Horizon ResponseWorkers and Volunteers -

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