Oil Spills and Corexit: Has the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill had an ongoing effect on the cultural and mental health of Louisiana residents?
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In July, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded killing 11 people and spilling over 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the largest offshore oil spill in U.S history. Over 1.8 million gallons of the toxic chemical dispersant Corexit were used as a clean-up solution. The oil and Corexit mixture caused devastating environmental and economic impacts. Those impacts posed serious mental and cultural health issues for the residents of Louisiana. Following the spill, elevated symptoms of anxiety, depression, mental illness, and posttraumatic stress were reported by Gulf residents. The purpose of this research is to determine the current mental and cultural health status of Louisiana residents in 2017, nearly seven years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but also tries to characterize the cultural impacts of contamination of seafood, favorite locales, and critical livelihoods on residents of Louisiana. The analysis revealed there is a need for the implementation of efficient mental and cultural health response strategies, locally and nationally, for individuals and communities impacted by oil spill disasters.
- MA in Policy Studies