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What are the consequences of the oil spill on the environment?

Oil spills are a growing environmental concern. It is harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Oil spills at sea can have serious economic impacts on coastal operations. The same goes for those exploiting marine resources. Consequently, communities at risk of oil disasters must anticipate the consequences and prepare for them.

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Marine pollution caused by oil spills

In recent years, all countries of the world have been very concerned about the effects of pollutants. And its effects on human health in the environment. Especially pollution of water sources and the ocean on the earth’s surface. The cause of this pollution is largely due to the human use of chemicals and fuels from many different sources. Especially oil.

Although the value of petroleum is very great, but due to its dangerous properties (flammable, explosive, highly polluted). Every year we still see a lot of accidents from oil tankers. Making millions of tons of oil spilled into the sea has huge consequences on marine resources and environment on earth.

Oil spills can come from many different sources. As oil tankers, oil extraction and storage facilities. Oil spills from an oil tanker are usually caused by cracks, punctures in the hull or collision. From research results show that every year around the world about 3.5 million tons of oil from all sources is dumped into the sea. Of which 400,000 tons were due to accidents at sea. 700,000 tons from oil tanker maneuvers. 300,000 tons due to the dumping of ballast water mixed with oil and 50,000 tons from lifting the ship to repair momentum.

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>> The harm of water pollution on human health

Marine pollution caused by oil spills has many reasons

Marine pollution caused by oil spills has many reasons

The effects of oil spills

Through many studies and statistics, oil pollution is seriously affected. Especially for plankton, marine algae, mangrove forests, aquatic – marine systems, tourism and recreational activities, …

Oil spill can harm an organism because its chemical composition is toxic. This can affect organisms both from internal contact with the oil. Through ingestion or inhalation and from external contact through skin and eye irritation. Oil can also kill some small fish or invertebrates. Reduces the ability of birds and mammals to maintain body temperature, etc.

“Light” oil

Fuel oil, such as gasoline and diesel fuel, is very “light” oil. They are very volatile, so they usually do not last long in water or sea (usually no more than a few days). However, light oil is spilled. It can pose significant dangers. It can catch fire or explode right above sea level. Or, many mild oils can kill the animals or plants they touch. They are also dangerous to humans by inhaling smoke or when exposed to the skin.

Oil "light" has the ability to evaporate quickly

“Light” oils have the ability to evaporate quickly

“Heavy” oil

In contrast, oils are very “heavy”. Typically oil. It is used as fuel for ships. When a spill occurs, it can remain in the environment for months. Or even years if the elimination is not used. In petroleum, there is hydrocarbon – a toxic substance. To all life forms and harmful to both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are considered the most frequent organic pollutants of aquatic ecosystems.

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Though these oils can be very persistent. But they are typically significantly less toxic than lighter oils. Instead, it negatively affects organisms over a long period of time. For example, it can cause organisms to have chronic diseases like tumors, …

Especially, if heavy oil gets on the feathers of animals such as birds and other mammals such as otters, … They can die from hypothermia. Because then they can not keep the body warm because the outer coat is oily and cannot be washed away. After days or weeks, some heavy oils will harden. Very similar to the asphalt pavement. In this hard state, heavy oils can no longer harm animals or plants when exposed to them.

It's not just aquatic creatures that are affected by the oil spill

It’s not just aquatic creatures that are affected by the oil spill

Oil dispersant

And even the use of oil dispersants – a popular tool used after oil spills. However, this substance is also very poisonous and life-threatening. Including all living plants and animals, both aquatic and terrestrial. Therefore, it is necessary to immediately formulate plans to reduce the risk of marine oil pollution.

Are oil dispersants really good?

Are oil dispersants really good?


Derived from that urgency and on the basis of the results of a number of domestic and foreign studies. Scientists have had a number of highly feasible and effective solutions. In order to deal with the oil spills that pollute the marine environment from current tankers. At the same time, to limit the negative impacts on marine resources and environment caused by marine activities.

To prevent spillover effects when the problem occurs. We can treat oil spills using a barrier made of absorbent material. Or use a boat to remove oil from the surface. Another useful method is spot burning, the oil will be burned in the water.

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New biological treatment technologies are also constantly being developed. By using microorganisms to convert hydrocarbons into less toxic compounds. Scientists are also working on new methods. To limit the effects of the oil spill. There are even studies of using proteins from horse sweat to mitigate environmental damage.

The oil barrier can easily collect oil

The oil barrier can easily collect oil


Since the risk of oil spill cannot be completely eliminated during the extraction, processing and transportation of oil, a detailed plan is needed to clean and limit negative impacts. However, with increasingly strict rules and regulations, along with the continued development of scientific research, the number of oil spills as well as the severity of damage have been significantly reduced.

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