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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111328

The Gulf Coast Health Alliance: Health Risks Related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS) Study: Self-Reported Health Effects

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
2
Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
3
Department of Family Medicine, Louisiana State University at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
4
Department of Family Medicine, Lafayette General Hospital, Lafayette, LA 70503, USA
5
Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Perelman School of Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
6
Perelman School of Medicine, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
7
Center for Environmental and Economic Justice, Biloxi, MS 39531, USA
8
Mississippi Vietnamese Fishing Community, Gulfport, MS, USA
9
Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
10
Texas A&M University at Galveston; Galveston, TX 77554, USA
11
Department of Family Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
12
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) explosion in 2010 is the largest oil spill (Macondo) in U.S. history. We focused on gaining an understanding of the physical health and mental health effects attributable to the Macondo oil spill. This is a report of a cross-sectional cohort study (wave 1) to establish ‘baseline’ findings and meant to provide descriptive information to be used for a multi-wave, longitudinal study. Gulf Coast Health Alliance: health Risks related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS) uses a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, thus including multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional academic partners and representatives of three communities impacted by the spill. Three research sites were selected for human sampling along the Gulf of Mexico coast including two from Mississippi and one from Louisiana, with Galveston, Texas, serving as a comparison site, given that it was not directly impacted by the spill. One hundred participants were selected from each community, representing adults, seniors and children, with approximately equal numbers of males and females in each group. Participants completed initial assessments including completion of a ‘baseline’ survey and, rigorous physical assessments. Results from wave 1 data collection reported herein reveal changes in self-reported physical health and mental health status following the oil spill, disparities in access to healthcare, and associations between mental health and emotional conditions related to displacement/unemployment. Few environmental health studies have been conducted in communities impacted by significant oil spills. Results imply potential prolonged effects on mental health and community vulnerability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Deepwater Horizon; oil spill; environmental health; petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Gulf Coast Deepwater Horizon; oil spill; environmental health; petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Gulf Coast
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Croisant, S.A.; Lin, Y.-L.; Shearer, J.J.; Prochaska, J.; Phillips-Savoy, A.; Gee, J.; Jackson, D.; Panettieri, R.A., Jr.; Howarth, M.; Sullivan, J.; Black, B.J.; Tate, J.; Nguyen, D.; Anthony, A.; Khan, A.; Fernando, H.; Ansari, G.A.S.; Rowe, G.; Howrey, B.; Singleton, C.; Elferink, C. The Gulf Coast Health Alliance: Health Risks Related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS) Study: Self-Reported Health Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1328.

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