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How Does Oil Pollution Affect Humans
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Surface Water Pollution
Oil spill A spill of petroleum on the surface of a large body of water. Ocean oil spills became a major environmental problem in the 1960s, mainly as a result of oil exploration and production on the continental shelves and the use of supertankers capable of transporting 500,000 metric tons of oil. Spectacular oil spills from broken or damaged supertankers are now rare due to strict shipping and environmental regulations. However, thousands of small and many large oil spills related to well discharges and tanker operations are reported each year, with the total amount of oil released into the world’s oceans each year exceeding one million metric ton. The accidental or negligent release of used gasoline solvents and crankcase lubricants by industries and individuals greatly aggravates the overall environmental problem. Combined with natural seepage from the ocean floor, these sources add oil to the world’s waterways at a rate of 3.5 million to 6 million metric tons per year.
The economic and environmental costs of oil spills are substantial. Oil on the ocean surface is harmful to many types of aquatic life because it prevents enough sunlight from penetrating the surface, and it also reduces dissolved oxygen levels. Crude oil destroys the insulating and waterproof properties of feathers and fur, causing oil birds and marine mammals to die of hypothermia. Also, the injected oil can be toxic to the affected animals, and the damage to their habitat and reproductive rate can reduce the animals’ long-term recovery from the short-term damage caused by the spill. . The damage to plant life can be substantial; Saltwater marshes and marshes are two significant coastal ecosystems that are frequently affected by oil spills. If beaches and populated beaches are polluted, tourism and trade can be seriously affected, as well as power plants and other utilities that draw or discharge seawater along the coast. One of the industries most affected by oil spills is fishing. Large oil spills often immediately suspend commercial fishing, at least to prevent damage to vessels and equipment but also to prevent the capture and sale of contaminated fish or shellfish.
The immediate environmental effects of oil spills are easily identified, but their long-term impact on the ecosystem of the affected area is more difficult to assess. The cost of compensating individuals and communities damaged by oil spills is a major incentive to reduce the likelihood of such events occurring in the future.
Although the spectacular spills of the last decades of the 20th century led to great improvements in technology and the management of coordinated responses, a completely satisfactory method of cleaning up large oil spills has yet to be developed. Essentially, oil spill responses seek to contain the oil and remove it sufficiently so that economic activity can resume and the natural recovery processes of the marine environment can occur. Floating booms can be placed around the source of the spill or at the entrances to channels and harbors to reduce the spread of an oil slick on the sea surface. Skimming, like the use of booms, is a technique that is most effective in calm waters and involves a variety of mechanisms that physically separate the oil from the water and place the oil in collection tanks. Another approach is to use various sorbents that absorb oil from water (eg, straw, volcanic ash, and plastic shavings derived from polyester). Where appropriate, surfactants and chemical solvents can be spread over a slick to speed up its natural dispersal into the ocean. Cleaning up oil spills on sandy beaches and rocky shores is a difficult task, often involving small forces of workers operating hand tools or heavy construction-type equipment to sweep up the contaminated remains and lift it.
Th Anniversary Of Santa Barbara Oil Spill: An Environmental Turning Point
1978 disaster in Brittany, France (223,000 metric tons of crude oil and ship fuel spilled). Both events led to lasting changes in the regulation of shipping and the organization of responses to environmental emergencies such as oil spills. In North America, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska caused enormous environmental and economic damage, although it remains the largest oil tanker spill in history (37,000 metric tons ).
Largest Oil Tanker Spill in History* Classification Name of Vessel Year Location Size of Spill (metric tons) Damage *Source of classification and spill sizes: International Consortium of Owners of Pollution ‘ Tankers. Damage information sources: International Tanker Owners’ Consortium; Center for Documentation, Research and Testing of Accidental Water Pollution; and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 1 Atlantic Empress 1979 Tobago, West Indies 287,000 After colliding with another tanker, Atlantic Empress caught fire and was towed 300 nautical miles out to sea, where she sank. Despite the complete loss of crude oil, only minor environmental damage was reported along some of the island’s coastline. 2 ABT Summer 1991 Angola, Southwest Africa 260,000 About 700 nautical miles off Angola, the tanker caught fire and sank with the loss of five crew members. Her cargo of crude oil was lost, but no environmental damage was reported. 3 Castillo de Belver 1983 Saldanha Bay, South Africa 252,000 Castillo de Belver caught fire, split in two and sank. Her cargo of crude oil was scattered by the winds and currents. Only minor damage to wildlife and the coast was reported. 4 Amoco Caddis 1978 of Brittany, France 223,000 Lacking leadership, the Amoco Caddis went down and broke in two. A full load of crude oil and ship fuel spilled, polluting more than 300 km of the Breton coast and killing tens of thousands of birds and marine animals. Thousands of workers cleaned up the beaches and marshes after the big oil spill. 5 Haven 1991 Genoa, Italy 144,000 Haven caught fire. Some crude oil was recovered at sea, but about 100 km of the coast in Italy and France had to be cleaned mechanically. 6 Odyssey 1988 On its way to Nova Scotia, Canada, loaded with 132,000 barrels of crude oil, Odyssey breaks in two and sinks in the Atlantic Ocean 700 nautical miles from its destination. Due to the distance from the land, there is no environmental impact. 7 Torrey Canyon 1967 Isles of Scilly, Off Cornwall, England 119,000 Torrey Canyon lost all of its crude oil spill, contaminating beaches in Cornwall and the Channel Islands and Brittany, France. It was later determined that the strong solvents used in attempts to disperse oil slicks were more harmful to the environment than the spilled oil itself. 8 Sea Star 1972 Gulf of Oman The Sea Star, which was carrying 115,000 barrels of crude oil, collided with another tanker, caught fire, and sank with the loss of 12 crew members. No environmental damage occurred. 9 Irenes Serenade 1980 Navarino Bay, Greece 100,000 This tanker caught fire while refueling in the port of Pylos. Some of the spilled crude oil and shipping fuel was recovered on the surface of the sea, but some washed ashore and had to be cleaned up by hundreds of workers on land and in small boats. 10 Urquiola 1976 La Coruna, Spain The Urquiola, loaded with 100,000 of crude oil, runs aground in the harbor and burns with the loss of its captain. Some oil was recovered from the ship, recovered from the sea surface, or chemicals were heavily used and dispersed, but the nearby beach was covered in oil and debris and only partially cleaned. 11 Hawaii Patriot 1977 Hawaii Patriot Honolulu, Hawaii, United States En route 95,000 was torn apart in a storm, then burned and sank 300 nautical miles away, losing one crew member. Ocean currents spread the spilled crude oil. 12 Independenţa 1979 Near Istanbul, Turkey 95,000 Independenţa hits another ship and burns at the southern end of the Bosporus, 43 crew lost. Most of the spilled crude oil was burned, although some surrounding shores and beaches in the Sea of Marmara were contaminated. 13 Jakob Maersk 1975 The Jakob Maersk sank and burned in the sea near Porto, Portugal 88,000 leagues while entering port, with the loss of seven crew members. Much of the crude oil was spilled
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