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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PORTA, Miquel; CASAL LAREO, Amparo  and  CASTANO-VINYALS, Gemma. The impact of the Prestige disaster on human health. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.4, pp.245-249. ISSN 0213-9111.

The worst environmental disaster of the history of Spain favoured a renewed social awareness of the intimate relationships that exist between the state of the environment and the health of human beings. However, the health of the populations most involved in the Prestige oil spill was initially not the chief concern of political authorities. The main aims of the present paper are: first, to comment succinctly on some of the most significant activities conducted by a variety of social actors during the Prestige crisis; and second, to suggest the main potential objectives and characteristics of the epidemiological studies necessary to assess with a sound rational basis the possible impact of the accident on the health of workers, volunteers and residents in the spill areas. The authors hope that in the near future it will be possible to scientifically assess the results and implications of several studies (epidemiological and of other sorts) well designed and conducted.

Keywords : Accidents; Disasters; Oil spills; Oil tankers; Environmental monitoring [methods]; Hydrocarbons [poisoning]; Petroleum [toxicity]; Petroleum [adverse effects]; Environmental exposure [adverse effects]; Epidemiologic impact.

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