MDCH Releases Joint Report on Acute Health Effects of Enbridge Oil Spill

Contact: James McCurtis Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 7, 2010

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in conjunction with the Calhoun County Public Health Department recently released a report on the acute health effects of the Enbridge oil spill, which occurred near Marshall in July.

According to the report, over 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Talmadge Creek, a waterway that feeds into the Kalamazoo River. The contamination affected 25 miles of the creek and river. The greatest impact was in Calhoun County but the spill also affected about five miles of Kalamazoo County.

As a result of the effects of the spill, state and local public health agencies received 147 health care provider reports on 145 patients and identified 320 of 550 people with adverse health effects after conducting four community surveys along the impacted waterways. Headache, nausea and respiratory problems were the major symptoms reported by individuals who were impacted by the oil spill. These are the same symptoms consistent with published literature regarding potential health effects associated with acute exposure to crude oil.

To see a copy of the report, please visit www.michigan.gov/mdch, click on Environmental Safety and Public Health along the left side of the page and then click on Toxic Substances at the bottom of the page.