In just a few weeks, maritime attorneys, the offshore drilling industry, and families of victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. Close to a year after that explosion and the resultant environmental disaster, residents along the Gulf Coast continue to suffer from the effects of the spill. The Huffington Post has an interview with a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. According to the scientist, the health effects from the offshore disaster can still be seen in these areas. According to the researcher, most of the complaints that have been reported have involved skin rashes, like eczema. Many people also seem to suffer from symptoms like headache, confusion, memory loss, and upper and lower respiratory disorders. Others have suffered from a persistent and chronic cough and bronchitis, while still others have complained of gastrointestinal symptoms and frequent diarrhea. Besides, residents in these areas continue to struggle with financial strain as a result of the economic impact of the spill along the Gulf Coast. The spill damaged the local economy, which is heavily dependent on the shrimping and seafood industry. Many of these communities faced financial troubles even before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, including lack of health coverage and poor access to health care. Those problems were compounded after the oil spill. Now people have to worry not just about money, but also about their health and the fact that they have very few means to get the medical treatment they need. In fact, the researcher believes that the mental health crisis as a result of the disaster is not being taken as seriously as it needs to be. There is also concern about the effect on women who were pregnant at the time of the spill, because of the fact that some of the chemicals that these people were exposed to, can impact DNA.
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