Assessing the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the Macondo Blowout on Human Health

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Oil spills are usually associated with environmental disasters; because of this the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and related policies have inadequate amount of tools that will help humans deal with these accidents. When the Macondo blow out happened, we had to assess the impact that it also had on human health, mental and physical because it had affected a large area. The Macondo spill unfortunately happened less than five years after Hurricane Katrina damaged Louisiana and Mississippi coast. Clearly, a lesson that was learnt from the oil spill was that the nation wasn’t prepared for widespread, poor effects on human health and mental well-being. Most of the communities along the Gulf had resided there for the majority of their lives or at least 20 years; this oil spill had worried the residents about payments, money issues, and the stability of their communities, which in turn affected their health.

From what happened during Hurricane Katrina and now the oil spill, speakers Sharon Gauthe and Gracie Scire are really trying to stress the importance of the need for additional community mental health services. The citizens are trying to cope with physical ailments and stress and even though the health agencies issued personal protective equipment guidelines for response workers and created a registry of these newly trained personnel, they missed the crucial window for screening their baseline physical health before the workers were directly exposed to oil products; Industry and

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