Ehstoday 849 Reginabenjamin

Surgeon General: Did You Help Clean Up the Oil Spill? If So, We Need You

May 25, 2012
Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin is encouraging workers and volunteers who assisted with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup operations to come forward and participate in a long-term study examining potential health effects of the spill.

"When oil threatened our Gulf Coast, thousands of workers and volunteers cleaned up the oil spill and supported the effort. Now there are questions about the oil spill and health," Benjamin said in a public service announcement (PSA).

"Did you help clean up the oil spill? If so, we need you," Benjamin stressed. "I'm asking anyone who helped clean up the oil spill to sign up for the GuLF STUDY, the largest study ever conducted on the possible health effects of oil spills."

Benjamin appeared in both TV and radio PSAs to share information about the national GuLF STUDY (Gulf Long-term Follow-up Study), which is being conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study is expected to last up to 10 years and will examine whether the oil spill and the resulting cleanup contributing to physical or mental health issues.

Over time, the GuLF STUDY will generate important data that may help inform policy decisions on health care and health services in the region. Its findings also may influence responses to future oil spills and similar disasters.

Visit to access all PSAs.

People interested in participating in the study can call the toll-free number, 1-855-NIH-GULF (1-855-644-4853), or visit

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