Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some cleanup workers and volunteers have raised questions about their health. Yesterday, Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin,a native of Mobile, Ala., issued new TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) inviting oil spill cleanup workers and volunteers to participate in the GuLF STUDY (Gulf Long-term Follow-up Study), a national effort to determine whether the oil spill contributed to physical or mental health problems.
Launched last February, the GuLF STUDY is the largest health study of its kind ever conducted among cleanup workers and volunteers. The study is being conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is expected to last up to 10 years. Over time, the GuLF STUDY will generate important data that may help inform policy decisions on health care and health services in the region and its findings may also influence responses to future oil spills and similar disasters.