With the one year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill quickly approaching, the effects of the disaster still remain in question.
Despite a number of BP commercials encouraging the consumption of Gulf seafood, the debate continues over just how safe food from the water is. In addition, those who were involved in the clean-up directly after the spill occurred have also reported side-effects, though no direct link can be confirmed.
Al Jazeera English has taken the investigation a bit further. The report (below) checked up on a few Gulf residents, many of which are afraid of the potential long-term health effects.
The potential effect of exposure to the oil and dispersants remains a point of controversy, and is clearly in dispute. However, there have been a number of videos (many of which cannot be confirmed as to whether or not they're accurate accounts), detailing the alleged health effects of exposure to the spill.
A federal health investigation is underway according to Al Jazeera, but as many doctors have pointed out, no direct correlation between health concerns and the spill can really be made.
Health concerns have been an issue since even the beginning of the spill, according to TIME. The impact of the disaster requires long-term observation however.
A group of doctors and scientists who gathered in New Orleans on June 22 and 23  for a conference on the issue, hastily put together by the Institute of Medicine, came to the inevitable conclusion that a massive, multilateral effort must be launched now to track the health effects of the spill over time -- and that researchers were already falling behind. "We have an unknown number of people exposed to an unknown danger," said Dr. Lynn Goldman, a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, at the conference. "There has not been preparedness in the public-health community for dealing with something of this magnitude."
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