Assessment Of Health Risks After An Oil Spill – Part 2 of 3
So “Volunteers will be at the highest risk,” one panel member, Paul Lioy of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University, stated at the conference. He was referring to a great extent to the 17000 US National Guard members who are being deployed to help with the clean-up effort.
Many absence extensive training in the types of hazards – chemical and otherwise – that they’ll be facing. That might even include the poisonous snakes that inhabit coastal swamps. Many National Guard members are “not professionally trained. They may be lawyers, accountants, your next-door neighbor,” he keen out.
Seamen and rescue workers, residents living in close proximity to the disaster, common people eating fish and seafood, tourists and beach-goers will also face some risk going forward, Dr Nalini Sathiakumar, an occupational epidemiologist and pediatrician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, added during the conference. Many of the ailments, including nausea, annoyance and dizziness, are already evident, especially in clean-up workers, some of whom have had to be hospitalized.
So “Petroleum has inherent hazards and I would say the people at greatest risk are the ones actively working in the locality right now,” added Dr Jeff Kalina, associate medical director of the emergency department at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. “If petroleum gets into the lungs it can cause undoubtedly a bit of damage to the lungs including pneumonitis, or inflammation of the lungs”.