Adverse Physical and Mental Health Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Among Gulf Coast Children: An Environmental Justice Perspective
This study examines whether racial/ethnic minority and low socioeconomic status affected children's health after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It explores whether these risk factors affected children's health due to direct physical exposure to crude oil or dispersant household economic exposure as a result of income loss. It uses data from a representative survey of 1434 households in 15 highly impacted Gulf Coast communities gathered from April to August 2012. The study conducted regression to assess the associations between race/ethnicity and annual household income, oil spill exposure, and children's health. Non-White children and those with dispersant exposure were at greater risk of physical health problems. Children in households earning less than $20,000 annually and those with dispersant exposure were at greater risk of mental health problems. Racial/ethnic minority children were not at greater risk of physical exposure, whereas race/ethnicity and annual household income interacted to determine risk of economic exposure.