Gulf Oil Spill Affects Children’s Health

As the acute phase of the Gulf oil spill transitions to a chronic phase, marked by long-term challenges to the public health, environment and economy, researchers at Columbia Univ.’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) interviewed more than 1,200 adults living within 10 miles of the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The survey, conducted by telephone in July, after the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, found evidence of significant and potentially lasting impact of the disaster on the physical health, mental health and economic fortunes of residents and their children.

The findings have implications for health and economic policies going forward.

Among the key survey findings: