250378 People speak about the oil spill impacts

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nancy Mock, DrPH , Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Adam Papendieck , Payson Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Anne Rolfes , Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA
Shannon Dosemagen , 4226 Canal St, louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA
Nathan Morrow , 1440 Canal St, Suite 2200, Tulane University, New Orleans
The Deep Water Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill was one of the greatest environmental accidents in the history of the United States. This study compares information sources capturing health effects of the disaster from sentinel surveillance systems, crowd sourcing, and household surveys having differing levels of rigor. Unlike formal sentinel surveillance systems, self-reported symptoms from crowd sourced information and household surveys indicate that coastal community households experienced health effects from the spill. These included eye irritation, respiratory effects and headaches. The problems were predominantly self treated but were a cause of concern among local populations. Sentinel site data did not detect unusual patterns of utilization for curative care in areas affected by the Oil Spill. The crowd sourced dynamically mapped data provided early indications of these perceived health effects. The more rigorous and the low cost basic community surveys provided similar estimates of health effects. This study demonstrates the importance of gauging perceived effects of environmental accidents and the inadequacy of current sentinel surveillance approaches to assess them. It also demonstrates that very low cost techniques can detect such concerns as well as expensive techniques. The use of crowd sourced and dynamically mapped data holds particular promise for ensuring that citizen concerns are brought to public attention. Recommendations include more engagement of the formal public health community in the use of these new techniques.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
compare and contrast different assessment methods for determining health effects of the Deep Water Horizon (DWH) oil spill

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have formulated concept and research design
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.