Report Urges Feds to Track Oil Spill Health Effects

Ellen Marie Whalen
Ellen Marie Whalen co-authored the report.
TAMPA (2010-7-14) -

In a new report, the left-leaning Center for American Progress urged officials to put someone in charge of tracking people who may get sick from the oil spill months or even years from now.

"We want to make sure that this doesn't get dropped," said Ellen Marie Whelan, who co-authored the report. "Who's the person that's saying, 'We’re collecting data from the right people, the right patients, the community so that we can be looking to see if there's going to be a long-term effect from the chemicals that we’re using to clean it up?'"

But federal officials say they already have such a person in place. She's Dr. Nicole Lurie, an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her position was created after 9/11 to monitor the health effects of natural and man-made disasters.

The Center for American Progress said that's nice; they just want to make sure health officials will stick around long after the spill has been cleaned up.

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