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What Are the Negative Effects of Oil Spills on Human Health?

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Adults and even children know how toxic and damaging oil spills are to living things and the environment. Despite knowing this, oil spills still happen everywhere in the world, whether on purpose or accidentally. As a way to keep the environment clean and safe, oil spill remediation companies in Plainfield, IL, are always ready to thoroughly clean spills anywhere in the state.

But, what happens to human health if these oil spills are cleaned up? In today’s blog, we’ll tell you all we know about these spills and their negative impact on health and the environment.

The Impact on the Population

People can be directly or indirectly affected by oil spills, depending on how they are contacted and how toxic the spills are.

Direct Exposure – this consists of people living or working in an area where they’ll make contact with an oil spill whether they like it or not. Here’s how you’ll get exposed directly to spills;

  • Breathing Contaminated Air – Some oil and fuel have volatile compounds that cause them to emit gases. Once spilled, these gases will then contaminate the air with toxic vapor, which will be breathed in by the residents or workers who are working on or near the spill incident. If this contaminated air is inhaled for a long time, health risks will increase and become more apparent.
  • Skin Contact – A lot of people will accidentally have direct contact with oil and fuel spills in contaminated areas. These areas can either be on beaches, rivers, oceans, oil extraction sites, or grassy areas beside the road. You’ll experience skin irritation and the contaminants may even be absorbed into your skin. Therefore, it’s important to do an oil or fuel spill cleanup.

Indirect Exposure – people who still get exposed to spills even though the incident is nowhere near their area are what we call “indirect exposure”. Here’s how you get exposed to toxic spills indirectly:

  • Contaminated Water – Oil and fuel spills from companies contaminate streams of water in mountains or rivers, which can travel for miles. Once this contaminated water reaches a residential area, it can contaminate the water pipes. These pipes are where clean water flows, which are used for bathing, cooking, drinking, and cleaning fruits, meat, and vegetables.
  • Eating Contaminated Food – If the soil used for planting fruits and vegetables is contaminated with oil or fuel, you’ll end up with contaminated food. Fruits and vegetables get their nutrients from the soil. If it’s contaminated with toxic spills, it will also affect the nutrients the fruit or vegetable bears. This is the same as using toxic insecticides when getting rid of pests from your garden of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

The Effect on the Environment

Aside from contaminating the fruits of plants, it will also affect their growth and the health of animals. This includes birds, animals commonly seen in forests, households, and farms, and marine life in both rivers and oceans. If these spills are left alone, they will soon affect the livelihood of the general public.

How Can We Help?

As much as you’d like to help, it would be better to keep your distance from where the spill took place. But if it took place near where you live, the best thing you can do is use warning tapes or signage around the contaminated area to warn the neighborhood and then call for a spill response team.
The people you can trust when it comes to oil spill remediation companies in Plainfield, IL, are from Greentech Spill Response. You can easily reach us by calling 630-392-6844. We clean up oil and other hazardous spills that harm the environment, whether they’re on land or in water. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for emergencies.

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