The American Nurses Association Dept. of Nursing Practice and Policy provides the following information:
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a letter report, compiling the expert recommendations for assessing the health effects of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The committee – made of medical, nursing, public health, and policy - recommend research in the psychological and behavioral effects; health effects of exposure to dispersants, oil, and other chemicals; seafood safety communication and engagement methods for disasters and disaster-preparedness; and frameworks for rapid research deployment on future oil spills. This work was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Nurses should be aware of the need for research in these areas, and potentially be an active part in the efforts to study the adverse effects of this terrible natural disaster.