Officials warn of health risks due to oil spill

GALVESTON, Texas - Galveston County officials are warning people of possible health risks due to the oil spill.

According public health statement from the Galveston County Health District, inhaling oil vapors or the particles in a wave's spray can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and eye and throat irritation.

Health officials say young kids and those with respiratory conditions should avoid areas near the contaminated water.

"GCHD wants to assure all residents are aware of the situation and take steps to avoid exposure," said Dr. Mark Guidry of the Galveston County Health Authority. "In this way, we can assure the health and safety of our community."

The health district recommends that people stay away from areas contaminated with the oil, and if you see or just smell oil, to leave immediately.

Health experts warn to not fish, swim or engage in water sports in the waters affected by the spill.

If you get oil on your skin, wash if off immediately with soap and water to help prevent irritation or various kinds of rashes.

Health officials say if any of the symptoms do not go away in a short time, you should contact your doctor.

There is also concern over contaminated seafood.

At this point, the Texas Department of State Health Services says seafood already in the markets has not been affected by the spill. However, they advise that any seafood from the contaminated waters should not be eaten.

Officials say you can tell if the fish and other seafood have been contaminated if it has oil on it or gives off an oil smell.

For residents who have health or environmental questions, call the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management at 888-384-2000.

Questions about seafood safety in Texas should be directed to the Seafood and Aquatic Life Group at 512-834-6660.

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