Sunday, 27 February 2011

Why Oil Spills Are Good For Us

Why are oil spills good for us? Jobs, silly. It takes a lot of people to clean off birds and a whole lotta other tainted stuff. Plus, there are already way too many birds and sea life in general. A few less birds and plankton never hurt anybody. And all that other underwater life: Who cares about something that doesn't impact you directly? And, like we don't already have beaucoup fish and plants down there where we really can't see 'em anyway. Out of sight, out of mind. Nothing wrong with that.
Some call it an environmental disaster, but I prefer to call it a gigantic environmental opportunity. We get to see if the aquatic ecosystem ever comes back to life, not worrying all that much if it doesn't because of the amazing research possibilities that will come from it, resulting in yes, even more jobs. I won't go so far as to say oceanographic calamity is a good thing, but it's not that far off.
Also, if you view this titanic oil spill from a glass half-full perspective, we may find that this watershed event will force birds, and all the other aquatic life it has brought to the edge of extinction, to become more hearty. Evolution just may make all these species oil-resistant to future spills. No one talks about this possibility. While you can't say that noxious and gooey Armageddon is a good thing, it still may result in big benefits.
And, the oil companies who bear the responsibility have accepted their share of it to such an extent that I believe they are entitled to a nice government bailout for all the lost revenue that this epic spill has caused them. BP and their Big Oil family never get cut any slack. They didn't plan for this to happen. To prove their innocence, they weren't even prepared for such a disastrous environmental and economic calamity. It wasn't even on their radar. So, you can't blame them. Rather, I'd like to think we should blame the ocean for causing such difficult conditions for extracting that bubblin' crude in the first place. Without it, you can kiss your cars goodbye while we become doomed to riding bicycles, or worse, mass transit. Ouch, may aching seat!
You know the oil companies will take full advantage of their mega disaster with TV advertising, too. They'll stage teary-eyed oil execs cleaning off a couple a' slimy tarred-&-feathered birds and blackened seals which will ultimately tug at the heartstrings of the American public. If BP and Big Oil know what they're doing, and how could they not, they will reap huge rewards from their titanic poisoning of the ocean's waters by apologizing often and sincerely, while re-framing it all as an act of God that not even the most pious of religious figures would dare question. They are so very cagey, it's a thing of wondrous beauty to behold. When life gives you lemons...
While I don't believe in Global Warming any more than I believe in President Obama's US Citizenship, this Gulf Coast Gusher could end up having many more positives than negatives, if spun cleverly enough. It's a win-win media event all the way even though some skeptics might call it a lose-lose.
Thanks for the spill of a lifetime, everybody! Count your blessings, get a bus pass, and tune up the Schwinn.
About the Author:
Grant "Brad" Gerver is an entrepreneur and co-owner of Quite simply one of the most generous businesses online. "Gerv" is also a performing blues artist-songwriter [] with The Buzzard Brothers and on YouTube. He is a retired elementary school teacher who currently works in the mental health care field.

Oil Spill Recovery Jobs

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought new attention to the oil business and the recovery efforts that are necessary to contain or at the very least try to reduce the environmental impact of the oil gushing out to coat the waters and land along the Gulf of Mexico's coast. In addition to the jobs on offshore oil rigs, there are more generated as the need to deal with the oil grows.
The jobs that are available depend on the amount of damage that has occurred. In Florida, for example, the number of vessels that have been hired to help set up and operate the containment boom, transportation of personnel and equipment as well as surveillance of the surface of the ocean and the many local waterways is nearly three thousand. These vessels are compensated for their time, usually up to $3,000 per day. The working group of local fishermen and local crews will be the most help to provide clean up of the area the oil spill has encompassed.
Other jobs that are involved in the oil recovery are the people who are trained in shoreline recovery. After training in how to handle the waste products and equipment used to clean them, and the correct way to handle the hazardous waste. This may include cleaning the oil soaked debris, washing the rocks and beach areas and removal of trash.
The spill affected many different types of wildlife and fish along the coast and in the waters of the Gulf. The workers who are required to report the dead animals are among those jobs not normally thought of as spill jobs but they do qualify. The wildlife biologists and oceanic science workers will also be part of the clean up as they study the environmental impact of the oil spill on marine and animal life in the Gulf shore and beyond. The study and impact of an oil spill reaches beyond the immediate into decades from when the incident happened. Studies and environmental impacts are still being done from the Exxon oil spill in Alaska years ago.
A new career can change your life for the better. To find out more about oil fields jobs, visit the oil industries leading employment resource, today!

Social, Cultural, and Psychological Impacts of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Lawrence A. Palinkas A1, Michael A. Downs A2, John S. Petterson A3, John Russell A4
A1 Division of Family Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, University of California, Sun Diego 92093-0807
A2 Vice President for Research, Impact Assessment, Inc., La Jolla, CA
A3  President of Impact Assessment, Inc.
A4  Scientist with Impact Assessment, Inc.
The sociocultural and psychological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill were examined in a population-based study of 594 men and women living in 13 Alaskan communities approximately one year after the spill occurred. A progressive "dose-response" relationship was found between exposure to the oil spill and the subsequent cleanup efforts and the following variables: reported declines in traditional social relations with family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers; a decline in subsistence production and distribution activities; perceived increases in the amount of and problems associated with drinking, drug abuse, and domestic violence; a decline in perceived health status and an increase in the number of medical conditions verified by a physician; and increased post-spill rates of generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Alaskan Natives, women, and 18-44 year olds in the high- and low-exposed groups were particularly at risk for the three psychiatric disorders following the oil spill. The results suggest that the oil spill's impact on the psychosocial environment was as significant as its impact on the physical environment. The results also have important theoretical and pragmatic implications for the understanding and mitigation of adverse impacts of long-term processes of sociocultural change.

Alaska, disasters, psychosocial stress, sociocultural change, subsistence

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How to Properly Use Oil Spill Booms

Oil spills can happen to anyone. Whether you are a large company who owns ships or you are just fishing with your boat there are economical products you can have on hand in case of a spill. Most people have no idea what environmental damage an oil spill on water can actually do.
There is always a chance for accidents to happen. You can only control things if you have a plan set up and have the necessary material such as oil spill booms available for use.. Oil spills have detrimental effects to the environment and to the people around it.
It is best to know what to do when accidents do happen. No one can predict it but your chance of controlling an oil spill relies on your ability to effectively deal with the situation immediately. Consider having spill cleanup products on hand as a first aid solution you use when needed. You need to prevent the problem from progressing while waiting for help to come.
The importance of providing trainings for your employees is a must. Don't be bothered with the training cost. Equally important are the materials you need in controlling the oil spills. Examples are oil spill booms and oil only absorbent pads. Consider these as an investment on your part. Invest in your people and your safety procedures. Once a spill happens you can be charged with large fines and pay for the damages resulting from the oil spill.
Oil spill booms are one of the best investments you can make. On water, oil spills can spread instantly. Use them to surround and prevent the oil spill from spreading. The most important thing is to control and contain the accidental discharge to a specific area. The booms repel water which means they will float even if saturated. Not only will they contain the oil spill, they also absorb the hydrocarbons.
Oil spill booms are made up of a tough outer mesh that covers the casing that holds absorbent polypropylene. The booms will stay together even on rough water. Oil spill booms come in segments. You can choose from 5" or 8" diameters and they come in 10 foot or 20 foot lengths. A nylon rope reaches through each boom with carbon steel connectors on each end so they can be connected together. These connectors will allow you to use only the number of absorbent booms needed.
Here are some general guidelines in using oil spill booms in containing the oil spill:
Step 1: Wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles.
Step 2: Assess the size of the spill and the amount of oil.
Step 3: Connect the number of boom segments necessary to surround the spill.
Step 4: Place the oil spill booms around the spill
Step 5: Secure any possible exit points for the oil spill.
Step 6: Use oil only absorbent pads to absorb the oil that is surrounded.
Step 7: Once the oil is cleanup, bag and dispose of the soiled pads and oil spill booms according to local, Federal and State regulations.
You can purchase oil spill booms at discounted prices.  For additional information, free newsletter and toll free help visit

Persistence of oiling in mussel beds three and four years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Babcock, MM | Irvine, GV | Harris, PM | Cusick, JA | Rice, SD
PROCEEDINGS OF THE EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL SYMPOSIUM. pp. 286-297. American Fisheries Society Symposium. Vol. 18. 

Dense beds of the mussel Mytilus trossulus affected by Exxon Valdez crude oil in Prince William Sound and along the Kenai and Alaska peninsulas were intentionally left untreated during shoreline cleanup activities in 1989-1991. In 1992 and 1993, mussels and sediments from 70 mussel beds in Prince William Sound and 18 beds along the Kenai and Alaska peninsulas were sampled to establish the geographic extent and intensity of Exxon Valdez oil persisting in mussel beds. Sediments collected in 1992 and 1993 from 31 of the oiled mussel beds in the sound had total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations greater than 10,000 mu g/g wet weight. The highest concentrations were in sediments collected from Foul Bay (62,258 plus or minus 1,272 mu g TPH/g, mean plus or minus SE). Five of the 18 beds sampled along the Kenai Peninsula showed sediment TPH concentrations greater than 5,000 mu g/g. The mean concentration of total polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (TPAH) in mussels from these same beds ranged up to 8.30 plus or minus 0.26 mu g/g (Squirrel Island) in Prince William Sound and 4.01 plus or minus 1.54 mu g/g along the Kenai Peninsula (Morning Cove, Pye Islands). Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon fingerprints of mussel tissue collected from surveyed sites indicated the contaminant source was Exxon Valdez oil. In 1993, mean TPH concentrations in sediments and mean TPAH concentrations in mussels were lower by more than 50% compared with these concentrations in 1992. Some beds showed little reduction in oil. Almost all the beds showing only small decreases in hydrocarbons were in protected, low-energy areas, where there probably was little remobilization of residual oil underlying the beds. This study has produced analytical evidence showing that substantial residual Exxon Valdez oil persists in sediments underlying mussel beds in the area affected by the spill. Residual crude oil is a source of chronic contamination of mussels and their predators. In the more-protected intertidal areas, natural flushing and remobilization of Exxon Valdez oil will be slow; some of these mussel beds potentially can be manually cleaned.

Descriptors: Article Subject Terms Mytilus | contamination | crude oil | mussels | oil removal | oil spills | pollutant persistence | pollution effects | sediment pollution | sediments | water pollution effects | Article Taxonomic Terms Mytilus | Mytilus trossulus | Article Geographic Terms INE, USA, Alaska, Alaska Gulf | INE, USA, Alaska, Alaska Gulf, Prince William Sound | USA, Alaska

Everything You Need to Know About Oil Spill Containment Booms

Shopping for oil spill containment booms should not be taken lightly. You could be saving thousands of dollars on fines, cleanup costs, and damage payments in the event of an oil spill accident. Your oil spill containment booms are your investment for contingencies. Find out everything you need to know before choosing oil spill containment booms.
You need a durable oil spill containment booms. Make sure that you can rely on the performance of your boom when you need it the most. Don't make cost as your main basis for determining a product. Aside from the cost, also weigh different factors such as durability, materials used, and overall performance. Durable booms have a tough outer mesh to protect the filter inside it. Make sure that the polypropylene filter will not shred into pieces.
Oil spill containment booms come in 10 foot to 20 foot fragments. These are connected using a carbon wire. Attaching fragments are needed when the oil spill consumes a large area. The good news is that you can easily attach and detach fragments easily with the connectors. It also makes retrieval of the boom effortless. You just have to pull the end of the link in order to retract the boom.
Containment is the main purpose of these booms. However, it is also designed to absorb oil spills or hydrocarbons spills such as gasoline, diesel, motor oil, jet fuel, hydraulic oils, kerosene, and fuel oils. There is a disclaimer on its limitations. It is not built to handle acid, aggressive fluids, or water based chemicals. Make sure you use it according to its purpose.
These booms are also known as sorbent booms, marine booms, marina booms, sea booms, ocean booms, or spill booms. It can be used both in land and in water. In sea, it has the ability to repel water allowing it to float. The booms are usually dropped in the oil spill and surround the spill by hauling the booms near the vessels to create an enclosure. In land, where spreading is much slower, it prevents contaminating the objects surrounding it. These objects can be assets of the company that may be damaged by the oil spill. It also prevents the possibility of spreading fire in case of ignition. With all the combusting materials around, you don't want to turn your oil spill into a fire crisis in the area.
Disposal of oil spill containment booms in an accident should follow a certain procedure. Since oil spill are toxic to the health of people and the environment, proper disposal should be part of any safety procedure in handling oil spills. Don't forget to bring plastic bags and drums on the oil spill area. Once the booms are heavily saturated with oil, place it inside a plastic bag. Wipe off any residue outside the plastic bag or you can double bag it. Carefully label the plastic bags on the type of contaminant it contains. Don't just let it sit on a dumpster for a long time. Either contact a waste disposal company or directly haul it to your local land fill.
Need more information about oil spill containment booms?  We have the most competitive prices, up-to-date articles, information, and tips available at


Blumer, M | Sanders, H L | Grassle, J F | Hampson, G R

Descriptors: Boundary element method | Mathematical analysis | Pollution abatement | Crude oil | Oceans | Marine | Foods | Oil pollution | Contamination | Toxicity | Coastal | Health | Fish | Hazardous | Killing | Hydrocarbons | Oil spills | Animals | Survival

Is the BP Oil Spill Crisis Affecting Fish Oil Supplements?

The most recent oil disaster off the coast of Louisiana is leading a lot of people to wonder whether it's Alright to eat marine sources of omega-3. Are fish oil supplements in danger?
Are supplements at risk?
Actually, they are. Basically, if it's in the ocean, it's subject to contamination and toxins. Many of the public drug and food agencies aren't involved with supplementation in the same way they are with other products available to the public.
Moreover, OmegaProtein could be the largest producer of fish oil in the U.S., and they produce fish oil products and supplements for many different suppliers and brands. What's scary is that they get nearly 70% of their fish oil from the gulf. That's why it is so important to be a smart consumer! One reuters post says OmegaProtein plans to sue the oil company for damages. BP on the other hand seems to think the disaster is now under control, and has promised to make good on any claims resulting from economic distress caused by the spill.
Perhaps now more than ever, it is exceedingly important to be an educated customer. The truth is, manufacturers DO have the ability to produce fish oil with higher levels of purity and concentration than what's typically sold in nutrition stores. So, how can you find out if you are purchasing the best fish oils? Check out the rating from the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). IFOS controls the highest standard for fish oils is, and independently tests batches of supplements upon manufacture request.
Is marine derived omega-3 OK?
  • Make sure there's some kind of indication about third-party testing
  • It shouldn't smell bad
  • Check for "freezability"...ultra-refined products shouldn't freeze all the way through
Worried about oily fish like tuna?
As outlined by reporters at AOL News who've spent two weeks tracking down the people doing the testing and trying to understand how they're deciding whether or not it's safe. Here's what they found:
  • The oil company is only concerned with public appearance
  • Fishermen want to keep selling safe seafood so they don't lose customers
  • Health agencies are doing everything necessary to keep contaminated fish off the market
  • All tests for oil contamination have been negative
What is being done to protect consumers?
All the major players in health regulations have joined to make certain all impacted waters are shut down until the threat to marine life dissipates. They do not expect any dangerous products to reach the shelves and want consumers to know they are doing their best to protect the food supply.
While I'm glad these agencies are stepping up to the plate and so are committed to making sure of our security, I have to reveal my concerns are not even close reduced by their measures. Between the recent E.Coli scares and "under-processed" Spaghetti-O's (I didn't even know you could under-process a Spaghetti-O...) all over the news, I find it a little scary to think about eating fish from the Gulf.
Copyright by Marshall Sontag. All Rights Reserved.
Marshall Sontag has been studying nutrition and health for over a decade, and has become an expert on health supplements and omega 3 fish oil in particular. He has operated a omega-3 website for the last 5 years, which features hundreds of studies on the benefits of omega-3 and was selected by Google as the #1 website for their "fish oil" search.
Marshall Sontag - EzineArticles Expert Author

Oil Sorbent Pads - A Low Cost Yet Highly Effective Solution for Cleaning Up Small Oil Spills Fast

Oil spills can be really messy. And you have to act fast if you want to prevent the problem from spreading. Fortunately, there's an easy and low-cost solution to cleaning things up fast: oil sorbent pads.
Of course cleaning up oil spills is actually a two-step process, depending on how big of a spill it is. If it's just a small leak, oil sorbent pads can mop it up within minutes.
The key for making this possible is to have them handy right then and there. And that's where pads really shine! They're so cheap and handy that it is possible to have a small stash of them just about anywhere where oil is handled.
This means that it's easy to just grab one of those oil sorbent pads and soak up the errant oil before it can go anywhere. How much easier could that be.
If the spill is a bit bigger, though, you will need something else. That's when the two-step approach to cleaning up oil spill messes comes in: first, a spill must be contained and THEN it needs to be cleaned up.
If you need something to contain a spill, you'll find spill berms are just the ticket. They're handy and, depending on what kind you get, they don't take up too much space.
So if you have areas where bigger oil spills are an issue, just keep some spill berms handy, and arrange them around the spill so that the oil can't go anywhere. Only then it's time to take out the oil sorbent pads or other absorbents and mop away.
All of the above applies to spills in a facility or on land. If the spill is in a body of water, you may need oil booms instead of the spill berms, and, depending on the amount of oil, more oil booms to soak up the oil.
However, if it's a small spill on a body of water, pads can actually take care of that as well -- they're perfect for skimming oil off water.
Here's a bonus: oil sorbent pads can easily be reused. All you need is a hand wringer and you can simply wring them, collect the oil, and put them to use again -- over and over. This means, you can clean up an oil spill with just a few of those pads -- which makes them even more economical than they already are.
Want to know more about oil sorbent pads? Get valuable tips and the latest news about absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Safety Maintenance News blog and get his free newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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Acute health effects of the Sea Empress oil spill.

  1. R A Lyons
  2. J M Temple
  3. D Evans
  4. D L Fone
  5. S R Palmer
+Author Affiliations
  1. University of Wales, Swansea.


      STUDY OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether residents in the vicinity of the Sea Empress tanker spill suffered an increase in self reported physical and psychological symptoms, which might be attributable to exposure to crude oil. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study; postal questionnaire including demographic details, a symptom checklist, beliefs about health effects of oil and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression and SF-36 mental health scales. SETTING: Populations living in four coastal towns on the exposed south Pembrokeshire coast and two control towns on the unexposed north coast. PATIENTS: 539 exposed and 550 unexposed people sampled at random from the family health services authority age-sex register who completed questionnaires. MAIN RESULTS: Adjusted odds ratios for self reported physical symptoms; scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression and SF-36 mental health scales, in 1089 people who responded out of a possible 1585 (69%). CONCLUSIONS: Living in areas exposed to the crude oil spillage was significantly associated with higher anxiety and depression scores, worse mental health; and self reported headache (odds ratio = 2.35, 95% CI 1.56, 3.55), sore eyes (odds ratio = 1.96, 95% CI 1.06, 3.62), and sore throat (odds ratio = 1.70, 95% CI 1.12, 2.60) after adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, anxiety, and the belief that oil had affected health. People living in exposed areas reported higher rates of physical and psychological symptoms than control areas. Symptoms significantly associated with exposure after adjustment for anxiety and health beliefs were those expected from the known toxicological effect of oil, suggesting a direct health effect on the exposed population.

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