Lessons from History: Oil Spills and Human Health

Nearly three weeks into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the full extent of the damage seems far from surfacing. And that dome they tried plugging the leak with? Yeah, that didn't quite work out as planned. Needless to say, there's cause for great concern.

And now, on top of the environmental and economic costs, the spill might also pose possible health risks to human beings within close proximity of the area. Grist has a post that outlines the health hazards as demonstrated in past oil spills. For example, here's what we've learned from the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster:
According to NIOSH there were 1,811 compensation claims filed by people involved with the spill. Claims were related to cuts, sprains, contusions, respiratory problems, and dermatitis. 599 local residents were surveyed one year after the spill. They found that exposed individuals were 3.6 more likely to have anxiety disorder, 2.9 times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, and 2.1 times more likely to be depressed.
Talk about the gift that gives on giving.

Head to Grist for the full post.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user kenhodge13\n