NIH will study health of Gulf oil disaster cleanup workers
March 1st, 2011
02:22 PM ET

NIH will study health of Gulf oil disaster cleanup workers

The National Institutes of Health is looking for 55,000 people, who helped in the cleanup efforts following  the Deepwater Horizon oil disasterin the Gulf of Mexico nearly a year ago.  Researchers will study how being exposed to the oil and the chemicals used to remove the oil may have affected the health of workers and volunteers.

They're calling it the GuLF Study, which stands for "Gulf Long-term Follow-up Study." Researchers will be contacting people Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Starting with several lists of workers and volunteers, researchers will be contacting potential participants by mail, by sending out letters of invitation to participate in the trial.  People can also volunteer themselves by calling 1-855-NIH-GULF (1-855-644-4853). Then, when 55,000 participants have been found, the first part of the trial involves a phone interview, which includes questions about the work they did in the aftermath of the disaster.  Of those, 20,000 will also be asked to participate in the second phase of the study, which involves home visits, taking various samples including blood and urine, as well as measuring blood pressure and lung function.

According to the NIH press statement, of the 40 known oil spills in the past 50 years, the health effects have been studied from only eight of those spills. "The goal of the GuLF Study is to help us learn if oil spills and exposure to crude oil and dispersants affect physical and mental health," said the study's lead investigator, Dale Sandler, Ph.D.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Richard

    I'll bet when these workers start getting sick from the exposure to the toxins, the republicans are going to try and stop them from receiving compensation. Eventually, when it comes down to flipping burgers and staying healthy, we will not find workers to handle these problems. Again, middle class and poor lose, and the rich win!

    March 1, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Kevin

    I don't understand why the poors always blame being lazy and poor on us rich people who work harder and smarter than them. Is it my fault I am incredibly talented and there is a high demand for my skills?

    March 1, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      "us rich people"? You schmarter or sompthink?

      March 2, 2011 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • Don'tJudgeABook

      You're not very smart if you believe "poor" = "lazy," you are simply a jack@$$ living in your own little bubble. If you have money but are a wonderful person, no one will think less of you. However, if you think you are better than other people and look down upon others, it's pretty obvious why people have a problem with you.

      March 2, 2011 at 03:59 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Whoa there sport! Wouldn't want you to strain something patting yourself on the back like that. Maybe you can join a club or something and you can all sit around and pat each other on the back. It's much safer that way.

      March 8, 2011 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
  3. smilearth

    While all are focused on several domestic and overseas events, the Interior department approved a new deep water drilling project in the gulf and the company is BP. They have not fixed the problem or have developed any backups to handle disaster, which we all remember of last spring. How come no news media is covering this another potential disaster in the making.

    March 1, 2011 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      And they didn't want citizens to do their own reporting last year. Who is minding the store, some FOX in the coop?

      March 2, 2011 at 00:44 | Report abuse |
  4. Ric Gene Watson

    Feel me good to do these studies because that way they perform a good health care. Findrxonline mentioned in his blog that the chemical products can be dangerous to health because they can cause arthritis and chronic pain in the skin so it is necessary that all persons go through an evaluation because so improve their quality of life.

    March 2, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.