Consequences of Oil Pollution
There are quite a few causes and effects of oil pollution. One of the largest problems is that the equipment used isn’t always properly maintained. When that occurs there can be leaks that occur and there is nothing that the operators on the vessels are able to do that will quickly stop the problem.
With budget cuts many owners have considered not doing the maintenance that they should. They feel it is a way to cut costs but they are playing with fire. When there is an oil spill they can be responsible to foot the bill. Any time that there is an oil spill though consumers feel it. They will have to pay more for the fuel they use and that really is upsetting.
Causes and Effects of Oil Pollution: A Marine Life Problem
It is important to understand the amount of marine life that can be destroyed due to oil spills. There are more forms of aquatic life out there than most of us realize. When their habitat and food sources are ruined due to the oil they will die. That in turn has a rippling effect on the overall food chain in the circle of life.
The demand for oil has also increased the chances of an oil spill happening. As a society we are more dependent on it than ever before. That means there are more barrels of it being transported through the water than ever before. Statistically that is naturally going to increase the chances of some of it being spilled.
The fact that the equipment used for oil production is also very high means that when a spill does occur it could mean thousands and thousands of gallons of the oil being pumped into the water in a very short period of time. One gallon of oil in the water can create a slick that spans several acres. In the first three days of the BP oil spill it covered 580 square miles.
The consistency and the composition of oil changes as it mixes with water and that is one of the effects that can be complex to understand. It becomes very sticky and it will cling on to what it contacts. It can become a thick gel and that means that living forms of marine life can’t move like they should when it coats their bodies.
Some experts believe that certain fish and other forms of aquatic life are attracted to the smell of oil when it is in the water. That can further create larger problems due to the fact that it becomes so hard to keep them away from the regions where the oil has spilled. Many animals drown due to getting oil in their bodies and on their bodies.
Causes and Effects of Oil Pollution: An Animal Life Problem Too
Birds that land on the water can get the oil on their feathers. They can then stick to each other making it impossible for them to fly. Any creatures that have oil on them can become toxic to larger life forms that consume them too. Then the toxins can kill them so there is a chain reaction that is very brutal and very difficult to stop.
Algae in the water tends to be a food source for many living things. It also prevents forms of harmful bacteria from being able to thrive. When there is an oil spill the algae can be destroyed. Then there is a lack of food for some living things. At the same time the risk of death due to bacteria and parasites increases for other living forms of aquatic life. They can quickly spread those forms of bacteria and parasites to each other too. These are causes and effects of oil pollution!