Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Exposure, Industry Sector, and Child Health

Stroope, Samuel; Slack, Tim; Kroeger, Rhiannon A.; Sweet Keating, Kathryn; Beedasy, Jaishree; Sury, Jonathan; Brooks, Jeremy; Chandler, Thomas E.

The historic 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (DHOS) led to public distress regarding potential impacts on children in nearby Gulf Coast communities. Using a community-based South Louisiana panel study of households with children, we examined the effect of fishing industry employment on changes in a subjective measure of general child health and whether economic and physical DHOS exposures played a mediating role. Fishing industry employment had a negative effect on child health compared to other industries. Economic exposure and physical exposure both mediated the effects of the fishing industry on child health, with economic exposure mediating a larger share (49.3%) of the relationship compared to physical exposure (40.5%). The importance of economic oil spill exposure in these findings highlights the significance of social determinants of health at the intersection of disasters and child vulnerability.

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Population Research and Policy Review

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