As the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard take the lead in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Santa Rosa County Health Department would like residents to be aware of the following health recommendations:
● If the coastline becomes affected by the incident, residents should avoid entering
areas where oil is present or can be smelled.
● If the smell of oil is present, avoid strenuous activities outside. Stay inside in an
air conditioned room. Change the air conditioner filter to ensure peak performance.
● Avoid direct skin contact with oil, oil-contaminated water and sediments. Do not
swim or water ski in areas affected by the oil spill. If oil makes contact with your
skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
● Avoid boating through oil slicks or sheens.
● Do not fish in the oil spill affected waters and do not harvest and eat dead fish,
fish with oily residue or fish that have a petroleum odor.
● Young children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems
and underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
● Keep pets from entering oil-contaminated areas.
● Sightings of oil residue may be reported to BP’s oil report line at 866-448-5816.
Individuals concerned about air quality issues can view an up-to-date map with pollutant concentrations at www.airnow.gov, or they can report suspected changes in air quality at http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/. These sites also contain links to other websites with information on the government’s response to the oil spill.
The public is also advised not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings, toll free, to 866-557-1401.
For the most up-to-date information on Florida’s Deepwater Horizon Response, stay tuned to the navarrepress.com.