Gulf Coast Health Alliance: health Risks related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS)

GC-HARMSGC-HARMS focuses on understanding the long-term health effects of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, resulting from the consumption of seafood contaminated by petrogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). GC-HARMS partners include UTMB, the University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M at Galveston, LSU, and impacted Gulf Coast communities: the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Center for Environmental and Economic Justice, the Vietnamese American Community Partner, the United Houma Nation, the AL Fisheries Cooperative, and Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing. Our goals are to 1) assess seafood contamination, 2) determine PAH toxicity, 3) evaluate exposure and health outcomes in a longitudinal cohort study, and 4) disseminate findings to stakeholders. Local shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers and fin fishermen trained in the sampling process have collected many samples for testing via GC-MS; results will be used to develop consumption guidelines. Three research sites for human sampling were selected to include two communities from MS and one from LA with Galveston, TX serving as a comparison site. One hundred participants from each community include representative samples of children, adults, and older adults, with approximately equal numbers of males and females. Each participant will be followed for three years to include baseline then follow-up surveys and a comprehensive physical exam including collection of biological samples (blood and urine).