Study examining health problems of oil spill cleanup workers

FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. In the year since the Gulf oil spill, officials along the coast have gone on a spending spree with BP money, dropping tens of millions of dollars on gadgets, vehicles and gear _ much of which had little to do with the cleanup, an Associated Press investigation shows. The oil giant opened its checkbook while the crisis was still unfolding last spring and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Gulf Coast communities with few strings attached. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

MOBILE, Ala. (WIAT) — The four year anniversary of the BP oil spill is less than one week away. The spill ravaged business and marine life on the Gulf Coast.

The cleanup is over, but there are still plenty of questions about the spill’s long term health effects.

BP says it worked closely with federal agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing for workers who were called in to clean up the spill.

However, some Gulf Coast business owners aren’t buying it.

Now, the National Institutes of Health is spearheading a new study that is tracking health problems that have shown up in workers since the cleanup efforts began.

Some of the problems include skin irritations, anxiety and respiratory problems.

“We have a team of scientists pulling together all of the information that was collected on what exposures might have been to people with different jobs, in different areas, and bringing into this the environmental measurements, the air pollution data, and trying to come up with comprehensive estimates of exposure to oil or dispersants, “ said epidemiologist Dr. Dale Sandler.

Workers had to spray 2 million gallons of a corexit to clear the water.

In all, 33,000 workers were exposed.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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