The gulf coast health Alliance: health risks related to the macondo spill (GC-HARMS) study: Self-reported health effects

Sharon A. Croisant, Yu Li Lin, Joseph J. Shearer, John Prochaska, Amanda Phillips-Savoy, James Gee, Daniel Jackson, Reynold A. Panettieri, Marilyn Howarth, John Sullivan, Bishop James Black, Joi Tate, Dustin Nguyen, Amber Anthony, Asim Khan, Harshica Fernando, G. A. Shakeel Ansari, Gilbert Rowe, Bret Howrey, Chantele SingletonCornelis Elferink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) explosion in 2010 is the largest oil spill (Macondo) in U.S. history. We focused on gaining an understanding of the physical health and mental health effects attributable to the Macondo oil spill. This is a report of a cross-sectional cohort study (wave 1) to establish ‘baseline’ findings and meant to provide descriptive information to be used for a multi-wave, longitudinal study. Gulf Coast Health Alliance: health Risks related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS) uses a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, thus including multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional academic partners and representatives of three communities impacted by the spill. Three research sites were selected for human sampling along the Gulf of Mexico coast including two from Mississippi and one from Louisiana, with Galveston, Texas, serving as a comparison site, given that it was not directly impacted by the spill. One hundred participants were selected from each community, representing adults, seniors and children, with approximately equal numbers of males and females in each group. Participants completed initial assessments including completion of a ‘baseline’ survey and, rigorous physical assessments. Results from wave 1 data collection reported herein reveal changes in self-reported physical health and mental health status following the oil spill, disparities in access to healthcare, and associations between mental health and emotional conditions related to displacement/unemployment. Few environmental health studies have been conducted in communities impacted by significant oil spills. Results imply potential prolonged effects on mental health and community vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1328
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Environmental health
  • Gulf Coast
  • Oil spill
  • Petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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