It is possible that oil and oily material present in the environment as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill will wash up on beaches, barrier islands, marshes, and other areas along Louisiana's coast during and following severe weather events. Members of the public should not handle any oil or oily material, including tarballs, tar mats, or other oily debris.
Reports of any oil, oily material, or oiled debris should be made to both of the following numbers: (1) the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 and (2) the 24-hour Louisiana Emergency Hazardous Materials Hotline at (877) 925-6595.
Calls made to the National Response Center and the Louisiana Emergency Hazardous Materials Hotline will allow state and federal teams to respond to reports of remobilized oil or oily material once it is safe for personnel to resume work along the coast. It is important that all reports of oil, oily material or oiled debris be made directly to the state and federal response numbers.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals advises residents to avoid areas affected by oil. Residents should follow the guidelines below.
- Avoid direct skin contact with oil, oily material and oiled debris.
- Do not drive your boat through oil slicks or oil sheens.
- Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid affected areas.
- Do not let pets enter oil-affected areas.
- Do not burn debris, driftwood or other materials contaminated with oil.
- If oil gets on your clothing, wash separately from the family laundry. You may use your regular detergents.
If members of the public have health concerns related to dermal or inhalation exposure to oil, they may call the Louisiana Poison Control Center 24-hours a day at 1-800-222-1222.