Check for the latest information, including vessel decontamination and Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), produced by the U.S. Coast Guard for ports in the gulf region.
Health & Safety
The oil spill is not currently expected to affect drinking water, and it is also not projected to impact domestic wells. Your water supplier must notify you by newspaper, mail, radio, TV, or hand-delivery if your water doesn't meet Environment Protection Agency (EPA) or state standards or if there is a waterborne disease emergency. This notice will describe any precautions you need to take, such as boiling your water. If you have any concerns about your water, contact your water utility.
The National Institutes of Health will launch a multi-year study this fall to look at the potential health effects from the oil spill in the Gulf region. The study will focus on workers exposure to oil and dispersant products, and potential health consequences such as respiratory, neurobehavioral, carcinogenic, and immunological conditions. The study is also expected to evaluate mental health concerns.
The Gulf Oil spill has created unexpected and troubling change in the natural order of things, such as the untimely death or injury of oil-covered wildlife and the impact on fishing communities and the environment. It is important to monitor your health and well-being now, and even months afterward. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers tips for dealing with the gulf oil spill for parents, teachers and emergency response workers.
Federal and state officials are monitoring the waters from which seafood is harvested. They have closed areas contaminated by the oil spill to fishing and shellfish harvesting. If you have questions about the safety of seafood from the Gulf, or if you suspect that seafood you have purchased may be contaminated, call 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332).
Oil spill workers are on the front lines of the nation's response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Depending on their jobs, these workers can face hazards from heat, falls, drowning, fatigue, loud noise, sharp objects, as well as bites from insects, snakes, and other wild species native to the Gulf Coast area. Workers may also face exposure to crude oil, oil constituents and byproducts, dispersants, cleaning products and other chemicals being used in the cleanup process.