HELP Committee to Examine Health Impacts of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced the panel will hold a hearing next week titled “Evaluating the Health Impacts of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.”  The hearing will examine the effects of the BP oil spill and its cleanup efforts on public health and what can be done to minimize the negative impacts. 

There are many concerns and unknowns regarding the health effects of the oil spill on the workers, the general public and the food supply in the Gulf.  Many of the workers that responded to the Exxon Valdez spill suffered subsequent health problems, primarily for respiratory system damage.  In addition, many of the exposed residents found that they were more likely to suffer from mental health issues, headaches, dermatitis, dizziness, and throat and respiratory problems.  Lastly, the oil spill has shut down the fishing industry in much of the Gulf and may have a continuing impact on the food supply.

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 15 at 2:30 PM in room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The hearing will also be webcast at http://help.senate.gov/.

A full witness list is forthcoming.

Press Contact

Kate Cyrul / Bergen Kenny (202) 224-3254