Is the Oil Spill a Beach Health Risk?

Looks like the flow of the oil from the well has cut in half recently, but there is still a large volum of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, 71 exposure-related illnesses have been reported in his state. Of these, 21 were reported by the general public while the remainder were from clean-up workers. Most symptoms thus far have been odor related, exacerbating respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Officials in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida have programs in place to monitor the beaches for oil and dissuade anyone from swimming in a beach where oil is washing up. So, if you plan on going to the beach in these areas, watch out for oil in the water, tar balls in the beach, or the smell of oil. If you get it on you, shower with water and soap, petroleum jelly, baby oil, or hand cleaner from an auto parts store.

What about health risks from eating seafood from the affected area? We'll keep an eye on any stories about it we see. In the meantime, take your gas masks if you're getting some sun in an affected area.

ABC News
Wall Street Journal (pic)

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