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Pollutants > Oil spill

Oil spill is the discharge of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a type of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the sea or coastal waters. The oil may be crude oil, refined petroleum products (such as gasoline or diesel fuel) or by-products, ships' bunkers, oily refuse or oil mixed in waste. Spills take months or even years to clean up. Oil spills generally due to human mistakes or are careless and cause an oil tanker to leak oil into the ocean.

Oil spills do have an impact on marine life forms. Oil from open ocean spills can contaminate beaches hundreds of miles away. Oil spills can damage marine life by poisoning after intake, by direct contact and by devastating surroundings.

An oil spill that takes place near a coastline has more impact on living organisms than that occurs in the open ocean. However, all oil spills do have an impact on marine life forms.

Health Issues Associated with Oil Spill

In addition to the negative effects on other organisms, oil spills can create many health problems to human beings. Crude oil consists of various materials that pose both temporary and long-standing hazards to humans, including benzene and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Interim exposure to benzene can cause faintness and vomiting. Continued exposure to this substance has been allied to leukemia and many other health troubles. According to the EPA, some PAH chemicals are carcinogens.

The Persian Gulf Oil Spill (1983), South Africa Oil Spill (1983), The Monongahela River Oil Spill (1988), Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989), Off The Shetland Islands Oil Spill (1993), Off SW Wales (1996), Galapagos Islands Oil Spill (2001) are some of the major oil spills in the history.

Legal Rights for Oil Spill Victims - If you or a loved one has suffered severe health problems from an oil spill, please fill out the form at the right or contact us today at 1-800-780-2686 for a free case evaluation by an eligible pollutants attorney.

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