Review of the Federal Response to the Health Effects Associated with the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Public Health, Environmental Health, Select Populations and Health Equity
Board: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice

Activity Description

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, unleashing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The oil well was capped in mid-July, but the effects of the spill on both the short- and long-term health of individuals—including workers, volunteers, residents and visitors—remain uncertain. Monitoring the effects of the oil spill can not only improve our understanding of this crisis but also help determine what actions should be taken to protect peoples’ health.

At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the IOM will host a public workshop and conduct periodic, independent reviews of the federal government’s surveillance and monitoring of the physical and behavioral health effects from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The IOM then will use what it learns to provide information and advice to HHS on research priorities, research progress, and emerging concerns.

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