Skip 
Navigation Link
Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
CDC Updates Zika Guidance for Infant CareHealth Tip: Recognize Symptoms of Latex AllergyExercising With Asthma or AllergiesCan Aspirin Stop Liver Cancer in Hepatitis B Patients?Pollution Tied to 9 Million Deaths Worldwide in 2015Health Tip: Protect Yourself Against Breast CancerSkip Opioid Treatment for Migraine in the ERPPI Use Linked to Increased Risk of Ischemic Stroke, MINew Genes Linked to Restless Legs SyndromeAvoiding Alcohol Helps the Heart Beat Better2 Million Americans May Have Arsenic in Their Well WaterFirefighters Exposed to Carcinogens Through the SkinNewer Blood Thinners May Not Bring Higher Bleeding RiskScoliosis Screenings Can Help Catch Spine Problem EarlyArthritis Can Strike ChildrenHealth Tip: Relieve Ear Pressure While FlyingBlack Children Missing Out on Eczema TreatmentNew Framework Guides Tx Decisions for Atopic DermatitisHealth Tip: Recognizing SepsisAround the World, Too Little Relief for PainNearly 4 in 10 U.S. Adults Now ObeseFDA Panel Supports Gene Therapy for Kids With Rare Eye Disease30-Day Mortality Lower With Female SurgeonsDirect Primary Care May Fill Niche for Uninsured3 Factors That Could Raise Your Risk of Bloodstream InfectionStroke Risk Factors Are RisingTwo Ebola Vaccines Spur Lasting Immune ResponseHormone Therapy May Be OK for Women With MigrainesMigraine MattersMedial Temporal Lobe Surgery Linked to Prevalence of TinnitusHigher Levels of Fungus ID'd in Patients With Crohn'sWhere There's Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease May FollowAntibiotic Use Not Linked to Islet, Celiac Disease AutoimmunitySome U.S. Olympians Got West Nile in Brazil, But Not ZikaPenicillin Misconceptions May Raise Post-Op Infection RiskHate UTIs? One Simple Step Can Cut the RiskIDSA: Retail Meat May Be a Transmission Source for UTIsLonger Anesthesia Duration Tied to More Surgical ComplicationsFirst Test to Detect Zika in Blood Donations ApprovedHealth Tip: Learn Symptoms of Childhood SinusitisLimiting 'Cold Time' Could Make More Organs Available for TransplantHealth Literacy Linked to Length of Stay After Abdominal SurgeryZika Vaccine Works in Early Human TrialHealth Tip: Understanding Loud Noise and Hearing LossAllergy Relief Do's and Don'tsPatient Factors Differ for Surgical, All-Cause ReadmissionComing Soon: A Faster Test for Antibiotics Against UTIs?Antibody Injections in Pregnancy Might Shield Fetus From ZikaHealth Tip: Giving BloodMore U.S. Measles Cases From No Vaccine vs. Imported Disease
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

After Deepwater Oil Cleanup in Gulf, Ill Effects Persist

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Oct 2nd 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Workers exposed to dispersants while cleaning up a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico developed health symptoms, including wheeze and eye irritation, a new study says.

Dispersants are chemicals used to break up oil slicks into smaller patches that can be degraded naturally or diluted by large volumes of water.

U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researchers are conducting a long-term follow-up study of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

They found that cleanup workers exposed to dispersants were more likely to experience symptoms such as cough, wheeze, tightness in the chest, and burning in the eyes, nose, throat or lungs than those who weren't exposed to dispersants.

Lead author Dale Sandler said the scientists were able to distinguish between health effects related to dispersants and those related to petroleum products in the spill.

The findings are limited to workers involved in the cleanup and do not apply to the general public, she said.

"The health effects that we see in the workers don't necessarily apply to the community at large, although many of the workers live in affected areas," Sandler said in an institute news release.

Many of the workers who reported symptoms while working on the oil spill cleanup no longer had them one to three years later, but some still have them, Sandler said.

Institute Director Linda Birnbaum said additional research might help explain their symptoms.

"Some of them are continuing to not feel well, and we don't know what factors are contributing to it. The ongoing [Gulf study] is important for shedding light on the potential health impacts associated with an oil spill," she said.

The study was published online Sept. 15 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services has more on oil spills and health.