Oil Spill Facts

Oil Spill Facts
An oil spill occurs when liquid petroleum hydrocarbon is released into the environment, either in water or on land. Usually when people talk about oil spills they are referring to those that occur in coastal waters or oceans, because of leaks from tankers, offshore drilling rigs or platforms, or wells. Oil spills are not only extremely damaging to the environment but they have a devastating effect on marine life and birds and animals that come into contact with the substance. The damage from an oil spill can be catastrophic to the environment, ecosystems, marine life, bird life, and economies.
Interesting Oil Spill Facts:
Not all oil spills are by accident. Sometimes oil or oil products are deliberately dumped onto the ground which reaches groundwater sources and pollutes them.
Oil spills that occur in the water leave a shiny substance which makes it impossible for marine animals to live.
In 1978 an oil spill near Portsall, France dumped 68 million gallons of oil into the water.
In 1979 two tankers near Trinidad and Tobago collided and spilled 83 million gallons into the ocean. As one of the tankers was being towed it lost another 41 gallons of oil into the ocean.
In 1983 a production well in Libya exploded and dumped 42 million gallons into the surrounding environment.
In 1988 a storm caused the Odyssey oil tanker to lose more than 43 million gallons of oil into the ocean.
In 1991 Iraqi forces dumped 300 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf. This was part of their offensive tactics in the Gulf War.
In 2010 an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, dumping 210 million gallons of oil over 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico. This is equivalent to 62,000 barrels of oil a day for 87 days straight.
The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in 11 deaths from the initial explosion, and 17 injured. The devastating effect of the spill is continuing to affect people, animal, and marine health. Approximately 25% of Louisiana's coastline is polluted by oil from the 2010 spill.
More than 8,000 animals had been killed by the 2010 oil spill within the first 6 months.
President Obama created a $20 million dollar fund to provide help should another oil spill occur.
People that worked on the 2010 oil spill cleanup have reported eye, nose, and throat problems, blood in the urine, seizures, vomiting, nausea, respiratory issues, skin problems, liver and kidney problems, nervous system damage, miscarriages, and other health problems.
While cleaning up the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, crews used approximately 1.4 million gallons of chemical dispersants that were supposed to break down the oil.
One of the methods to clean up an oil spill involves placing a floating barrier around the oil and lighting it on fire. This causes even more pollution.
Although oil spills in the water affect marine life, and animal and human life by contact, it can also be introduced into the air and cause health problems when breathed in.


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