Effects Of Oil Spills On Human Health. Oil spills have become a common event throughout the world. Marine oil spills result from transporting fuel and oil via water bodies. Oil spills on the land happen because of the use of fuels in industries, factories, etc. As oil products comprise different fuels, oil spills may happen in many locations at a high rate. These spills can have devastating impacts on the environment.
While underground oil spills are a little hard to identify, surface oil spills can be easily identified as they leave evident traces such as odors and oil stains. The spilling of oil is not only harmful to the vegetation or wildlife but to human life as well. Both the surface and underground spills cause a great threat to human life in ways that you cannot imagine. These events may end up contaminating sediment, soils, water, underground water bodies, as well as air.
Oil spills take a toll on human health. The instances such as the Murphy oil spill and BP oil spill are the examples that exhibit the damage done to the environment and humans.
Here’s how oil spills can affect human health negatively:
Breathing the contaminated air:
Direct exposure of humans to oil spills also means that they are prone to breathing contaminated air. Both the oil as well as petroleum products include volatile compounds and substances that are emitted in the form of gases from the oil so spilled. This event contaminates the air to a major extent. Sometimes, a specific odor is also produced.
When humans breathe such air and take such odor inside, they lead to certain health risks. Breathing polluted air for a long time makes way for many respiratory diseases and damages your lungs. Sometimes, the damage becomes irreparable. Good quality oil spill clean-up products must be used in these areas so that the spilling of oil is treated immediately, and these contaminants do not get mixed in the air.
Direct contact of oil with the skin:
Even though you try to avoid it, your skin may come in direct contact with the oil or oil products. For all those who work in factories and industries, developing skin issues and skin allergies is a common affair. When the oil so spilled comes in contact with the skin, it causes many skin diseases and allergies such as boils, bruises, skin irritation, etc.
What adds insult to injury is that the contaminants may get absorbed through the skin, thereby entering the body and causing other health disturbances.
The use of contaminated water:
Some people may get indirect exposure to contaminated water as a result of the oil spill. The people who live in areas far from the place of oil spills are often prone to using the polluted water for purposes such as bathing and washing their clothes.
Swimming in a polluted water body can be harmful to health. Knowingly or unknowingly, many people get exposed to such water and harm their health in one way or another. Another instance that takes a toll on human health is eating contaminated food. The same water is used in the preparation of food. When consumed by people, it leads to several diseases.
The occurrence of oil spills is increasing each day, and it is affecting the environment and human life negatively. The situation is a cause of concern and must be acknowledged at the earliest. More means and measures must be taken to control the spilling of oil. The most immediate solution to tackle the problem is to cut down the consumption of fuel and petrol from your daily life. Furthermore, effective oil spill controlling strategies must be used in places that are vulnerable to such episodes.