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Press Release

OC Health Care Agency Advises Residents On Health Precautions Regarding Oil Sheen At Huntington Beach

(Santa Ana, CA) –  In response to the recent coastal oil sheen off the coast of Huntington Beach this past Thursday, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is issuing precautions for those visiting affected areas. "Contact with crude oil can pose health risks," stated Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer. “Residents and visitors are advised to take caution in affected areas  and to avoid touching visible tar. ”    

According to the HCA’s Environmental Health Division, crude oil poses a risk of skin contact contamination and may emit volatile components into the air, including toxic chemicals. Prolonged exposure to these substances can lead to various health issues. 

Symptoms commonly associated with excessive exposure to oil include skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation, headache, dizziness, upset stomach, vomiting, and coughing or shortness of breath. Those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, the elderly, and children, are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects from inhaling oil vapors. 

The HCA, in collaboration with local, state, and federal authorities, will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates to the public. A Unified Command with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department is managing the response. Crews recovered product offshore and continue to assess and recover product from the shoreline.  

To report observed tar balls outside of where crews are working, please call the Cal OES State Warning Center at 800-852-7550. 

If members of the public encounter impacted animals, they are asked not to approach them and to contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926.  

For further information or updates regarding the oil spill, please visit