Oil Spill: Significant Impact on Families

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 (UPI) — More than 40 percent of adults living within 10 miles of the Louisiana and Mississippi coast say they’ve had direct exposure to the oil spill, researchers say.

Researchers at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness in New York, in collaboration with the Children’s Health Fund and The Marist Poll of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., interviewed more than 1,200 adults living within 10 miles of the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Mississippi.


The telephone survey, conducted in July after the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, indicates:

– More than one-third of parents report their children have experienced either physical symptoms or mental health distress from the oil spill.

– One in five households report a drop in income since the oil spill, with 8 percent reporting the loss of a job.

– 26.6 percent of coastal residents say they thought they might have to move away from the Gulf Coast — 36.3 for those earning less than $25,000.

– More than 70 percent of parents say their children spend less time swimming, boating and playing in the sand, while 21 percent say their kids are spending less time outdoors.

– Coastal residents had more trust in their local and state officials and in the U.S. Coast Guard than BP or other federal agencies.

No further survey details were provided.

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