University of Oulu

Abereton P, Ordinioha B, Mensah-Attipoe J, Toyinbo O. Crude Oil Spills and Respiratory Health of Clean-Up Workers: A Systematic Review of Literature. Atmosphere. 2023; 14(3):494.

Crude oil spills and respiratory health of clean-up workers : a systematic review of literature

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Author: Abereton, Pearl1; Ordinioha, Best1; Mensah-Attipoe, Jacob1,2;
Organizations: 1World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence, Centre for Public Health, and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), Environmental Health Department, University of Port-Harcourt, Port Harcourt 500004, Rivers State, Nigeria
2School of Health Care and Social Services, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Microkatu 1, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
3Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiterankatu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-06


Background: We systematically reviewed the literature’s existing knowledge on crude oil spills and the respiratory health (RH) outcomes of clean-up workers.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Science Direct databases to systematically review studies of crude oil spills and RH outcomes of clean-up workers published from 1 January 2001 to 30 June 2022. We excluded in vitro, animal, and household studies.

Results: We identified 20 articles assessing the relationship between crude oil spills and RH outcomes of clean-up workers. Most studies were prospective and analytical, and fewer studies were cross-sectional studies. Most articles showed short- and long-term RH effects, with two articles refuting the adverse long-term RH effects and five articles showing no significant differences. Less than 50% of the articles assessed RH using spirometry. Studies on some independent oil spills (Hebei Spirit) were limited.

Conclusion: There is a high level of exposure to crude oil spills by clean-up workers, which is associated with adverse RH effects. Integrated efforts are needed to curb the menace of oil spills, thereby reducing the adverse RH effects among this vulnerable population.

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Series: Atmosphere
ISSN: 2073-4433
ISSN-E: 2073-4433
ISSN-L: 2073-4433
Volume: 14
Issue: 3
Article number: 494
DOI: 10.3390/atmos14030494
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: The work by Oluyemi Toyinbo and part of the APC are supported by the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (