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BP oil spill Deepwater Horizon response: NIOSH health hazard evaluation of wildlife cleaning and rehabilitation workers.
Trout D; Niemeier MT
Wildl Rehabil Bull 2011 Jan; 29(1):39-45
In June and July 2010, the National Institute (or Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluated potential exposures and health effects of workers involved in Deepwater Horizon response activities due to the BP oil spill. The evaluation included on-shore wildlife cleaning and rehabilation workers in AL, FL, LA, and MS. NIOSH investigators assessed site factors and surveyed workers to collect information on demographics, job duties, occupational exposure to oil and other agents, and health symptoms experienced. Birds were the most common type of wildlife being treated and rehabilitated at rhe centers. For nearly all health outcomes, more injuries and symptoms were reported among wildlife cleaning workers than among a comparison group. Among the must commonly reported health conditions, scrapes and cuts were reported by 67 percent of workers, and itchy or red skin or rash were reported by 46 percent. Occupational factors unique in oiled wildlife cleaning and rehabilitation likely contributed to the health conditions reported. These factors included: skin contact with oil on the wildlife and in cleaning water; skin exposure to detergents and cleaners; persistenr wet skin; and, frequent handling and awkward lifting and moving of wildlife and cages. An occupational health concern common among al! Deepwater Horizon response workers was heat stress from work in a hot and humid environment. NIOSH recommended continuing heat stress management plans and use of protective equipment to minimize skin and mucus membrane contact with oil and oil-contaminated water, measures to reduce ergonomic hazards, housekeeping to prevent slippery surfaces, and encouraging workers to report and seek care for health concerns and injuries.
Oil-industry; Oil-refineries; Oils; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Humans; Animals; Cleaning-compounds; Health-hazards; Workers; Safety-practices; Injuries; Skin-irritants; Skin-exposure; Skin-lesions; Skin-infections; Skin-disorders; Skin; Detergents; Cleaning-compounds; Heat; Heat-exposure; Heat-stress; Environmental-exposure; Author Keywords: wildlife; oil spill; NIOSH; NIOSH-HHE; health hazard; safety
Issue of Publication
Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin
OH; AL; FL; MS; LA
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division