IOM Report: Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health

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08/12/10
The American Nurses Association (ANA) Dept. of Nursing Practice and Policy and Center for Occupational and Environmental Health provides the following information received from the Institute of Medicine (IOM):

On August 9, 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report “Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop”. The report summarizes the presentations of the panel of experts brought to discuss the possible physical and mental health hazards of the BP Deepwater Horizon sinking and subsequent oil spill.

The workshop, requested by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), set out to (1) identify and discuss the populations most vulnerable to or at increased risk for adverse health effects, including worker sub-populations; (2) review current knowledge and identify knowledge gaps regarding the human health effects of exposure to oil, weathered oil products, dispersants, and environmental conditions such as heat; (3) consider effective communication strategies to convey information about health risks to at-risk populations, accounting for cultural, health literacy, linguistic, technological, and geographical barriers; (4) explore research methodologies and appropriate data collection to further our understanding of the risks to human health; and (5) review and assess components of a framework for short-term and long-term.

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