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NIH Seeking 55,000 Participants for Study on Health Effects of Oil Spill

By Rhonda Miller | Published 08 Apr 2011 11:08am | comments

A 10-year study on the possible health effects of the BP oil spill has been launched by the National Institutes of Health. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the study is looking for 55,000 people to participate.

The study will include oil spill clean-up workers and volunteers in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. People are eligible to take part based on a wide range of contact with the oil spill.

"For example, we’ll have people who worked on the oil spill early on, perhaps standing over burning oil, or actually having contact with crude oil, and we will have people who were not doing that, maybe were involved in food service," said Dale Sandler, lead investigator for The Gulf Study.

The study will examine physical and mental health and include lifestyle issues, such as smoking.

"We collect a lot of information from people, and from about half the people we’ll be asking to go into the home and collect blood samples and urine samples, measure lung function and blood pressure, height and weight, " Sandler said.

NIH has $34 million in funding, so far, to cover the first five years of the study, with additional funding anticipated, Sandler said.

For information on participating in the study call 1-855-NIH-GULF or go to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/GuLFSTUDY.

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