As part of the Florida’s ongoing efforts to help ensure the health and safety of individuals regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has developed a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for the public.
Since the Deepwater Horizon crude oil release began in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, Unified Command as well as the DOH and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been monitoring and responding to potential public health and environmental concerns. Environmental data, including air quality and water samples, are being collected on an ongoing basis by response teams along the coastline outlined in Governor Crist’s Executive Orders 10-99 and 10-100. This data is used to determine if there are potential risks to public health and the environment.
"At this time, there are no indications of any health risks to Floridians due to the Deepwater Horizon incident," said State Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H. "DOH and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida’s beaches and will issue an advisory if conditions become unsafe."
For most people, an occasional brief contact with a small amount oil, while not recommended, will do no harm. However, some people are sensitive to chemicals, including hydrocarbons found in the crude oil and petroleum products. They may experience skin or eye irritation even from brief contact with oil. In general, contact with oil should be avoided. If contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water. DOH discourages the use of gasoline, kerosene or other solvents to clean oil from skin.
To learn more about the potential health impacts and first aid measures regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, download the frequently asked questions at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/faq_doh_051010.pdf.
To stay up-to-date on Florida’s ongoing efforts regarding the spill, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon and sign up for email updates or follow
www.Twitter.com/FLDEPalert. In addition, the Florida Emergency Information Line, 1 (800) 342-3557, is in operation from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
DOH promotes, protects and improves the health of all people in Florida. For more information, visit www.doh.state.fl.us.