There may be health risks for people exposed to the crude oil and oil fumes, which most likely includes volunteers, workers, people with respiratory problems, the elderly, and the children living on the Gulf Coast. Such potential health impacts include:
Visible effects including skin damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, coughing, respiratory difficulty, and chemical pneumonitis.
Serious effects without immediate symptoms such as liver and kidney disease, lung damage, immune system suppression, abnormal hormone levels, infertility, anemia, nerve damage, mutations, and cancer.
Serious risk to pregnant women and their unborn fetuses, including abnormal growth and development, skeletal deformities, and other birth defects.
Extreme risk to children, who are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals in crude oil due to developing immune and detoxification systems, with the potential for abnormal growth, neurocognitive damage, and cancer.
People with pre-existing medical conditions may see a worsening of their disease even with short term exposure.
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