The Gulf Long-term Follow-up study, conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, has a target goal of 55,000 participants.
"Ten thousand people have stepped forward to help find answers for their community and for the health concerns that linger after the oil spill," Dale Sandler, chief of the institute's Epidemiology Branch, said in a statement. "I encourage anyone who helped in the cleanup effort to make the call today to enroll in the GuLF study. We want to hear everyone's story."
The study staff reached out to the 150,000 people who took cleanup worker safety training, but many have moved to new residences or changed telephone numbers. The study is using billboards, radio and TV, Facebook and Twitter and community meetings to reach those involved in the spill.
Individuals may be eligible if they:
-- Are at least age 21.
-- Did oil spill cleanup work for at least one day.
-- Supported the cleanup effort in some way or completed oil spill worker training.
Those who join the GuLF study are asked to complete a telephone survey. Most will also get a medical exam at home, and provide blood, urine and other samples. When the medical visit is complete, participants will receive a gift card worth $50, Sandler said.
For more information, people can call 1-855-NIH-GULF (1-855-644-4853) or visit: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/gulfstudy/.