OIL SPILLS endanger public health, imperil drinking water, devastate natural resources, and disrupt the economy. … When this occurs, human health and environmental quality are put at risk. Every effort must be made to prevent oil spills and to clean them up promptly once they occur.
How can we protect the environment from oil spills?
Establish procedures and install control measures to prevent a spill from reaching navigable water pathways: Minimize working quantities. Provide secondary containment for containers of oil that could potentially spill into the environment. Maintain a fully-provisioned, easily accessed spill kit.
What is the importance of oil spills to humans?
Studies of biomarkers have uncovered irreparable harm to humans exposed to oil and gas from spills. These effects can be grouped into respiratory damage, liver damage, decreased immunity, increased cancer risk, reproductive damage and higher levels of some toxics (hydrocarbons and heavy metals).
Why is oil important to the environment?
Environmental impact of oil
Oil pollution can have a devastating effect on the water environment, it spreads over the surface in a thin layer that stops oxygen getting to the plants and animals that live in the water. Oil pollution: harms animals and insects. prevents photosynthesis in plants.
What are the dangers of oil spills?
Oil toxicity: Oil consists of many different toxic compounds. These toxic compounds can cause severe health problems like heart damage, stunted growth, immune system effects, and even death.
How does oil spills affect the economy?
And while long-term damage estimates vary, a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences determined that over seven years, the oil spill could have a $8.7 billion impact on the economy of the Gulf of Mexico including losses in revenue, profit, wages, and close to 22,000 jobs.
Why are oil spills such a problem?
Depending on the circumstances, oil spills can be very harmful to marine birds, sea turtles and mammals, and also can harm fish and shellfish. Oil destroys the insulating ability of fur-bearing mammals, such as sea otters, and the water-repelling abilities of a bird’s feathers, exposing them to the harsh elements.