At least 180 coastal residents report oil-related health conditions
Thursday, August 19, 2010
MOBILE, Alabama — The number of residents reporting oil-related health affects from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill continues to rise in coastal Alabama.
At least 180 people have gone to local emergency rooms, clinics and urgent care centers since May 14 complaining of ailments thought to be related to the oil spill, Alabama Department of Public Health officials reported today.
That compares with 71,069 patients treated for non-trauma care overall during that period. Health officials are conducting surveillance across the state to monitor effects related to the spill at more than 20 sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Fifty-six of the patients complaining of oil-caused symptoms were exposed via inhalation, 33 by contact, four through ingestion, nine patients reported multiple exposures, and 78 were exposed indirectly, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Direct exposures are exposures to oil or oil by-products through contact, inhalation or ingestion, according to public health officials. Indirect exposures occur because of other circumstances associated with the oil spill.