What the Gulf oil spill means for you

University Lectures will host a panel discussion on Oct. 26, to explore the long-term impacts of the BP disaster.


A special University Lectures presentation is scheduled to take place in Hendricks Chapel on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m., to address growing concerns of economic and public heath in connection to the BP disaster.


The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is quickly becoming one of the largest ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, and even though the spill has virtually been contained, scientists suggest that the ecological effects will go far beyond stained beaches and oiled marine life.

Some of the effects are staggering.

In the weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in May, killing 11 workers, BP contractors spread out along the Gulf spraying dispersants to breakup the oil in attempt to keep the creeping slick away from the shores.

The crude oil contains trace amounts of poisonous metals like cadmium, mercury and lead, and since these metals can build up in fish tissues, the consumption of large fish, like tuna, from the gulf could soon be a health hazard, according to reports by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A recent article by the Journal of the American Medical Association warns that chemicals not only in the oil, but also in the dispersants used to clean it up, pose both short- and long-term threats to public heath.

“Swallowing small amounts of oil can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea,” according to an article published by the Post Standard in June. “Long-term exposure to dispersants, however, can cause central nervous system problems, or do damage to blood, kidneys or livers, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.”

The panel of experts will address a range of concerns resulting from the oil spill, such as: will the spill ultimately have an impact on the broader issue of the climate change? What will the impacts be on Gulf Coast residents for years to come?

The panel discussion, “Blowout: What the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Means for You and the Future of American Energy,” will explore the imminent environmental, social and geographic impacts of the disaster that will affect our generation, and generations to come.

The panelists will include:

  • Lee Clark, professor of sociology at Rutgers University.
  • Kishi Animashaun Ducre, assistant professor of African American Studies in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Matt Huber, assistant professor of geography in SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Christopher Scholz, professor of earth sciences in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information on the event visit University Lectures.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.