NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Report on the Exxon/Valdez Alaska Oil Spill   [open pdf - 402KB]

"In April, 1989, NIOSH was asked by the Laborer's International Union of North America, the Alaska State Health Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct a health hazard evaluation during the cleanup of the oil spill that occurred in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. In response, NIOSH investigators made three field trips to Alaska. During the first trip, April 25-30, 1989, two NIOSH investigators, an occupational health physician and an epidemiologist, participated in a meeting convened by the Commissioner of Labor, Alaska Department of Labor (AKDOL) following his announcement that the cleanup was a 'hazardous waste operation'. The meeting focused on the appropriate content of worker training courses and the amount of training hours necessary to adequately prepare the workers involved in the cleanup. Worker training is one of the required provisions of the Alaska and Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations; these regulations specified 24 hours of training at that time. The NIOSH team also had the opportunity to visit some beach cleanup sites during this trip. […] This final report includes the pertinent information contained in earlier letters and presents the industrial hygiene data, including exposure monitoring data obtained during the course of this health hazard evaluation. There is also a brief discussion on illness and injury surveillance; however, attempts to collect this type of information were largely unsuccessful."

Report Number:
NIOSH Report HETA 89-200 & 89-273-2111
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov
Media Type:
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