Oil spills can have a significant effect not just on sea wildlife but on people’s health. The effects range from affecting tourism, recreational facilities, workers’ mental health, and financial loss. One way to prevent such spills is by using quality equipment, as advised by PRT offshore. When the right equipment is used and operated by the right people, the risk of spills can be minimized. Discussed below are some of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon.
Sea Wildlife Was Harmed
Oil is toxic to sea creatures. It can cause adverse health effects on sea mammals like organ damage and reproductive failure. Marine animals such as sea turtles get exposed to oil through ingesting contaminated sediments, aspiration, inhalation, or absorbing the toxic substance through the skin. The result was a significant death of sea wildlife like never experienced before. Offshore well intervention companies are encouraged to practice safety by using suitable equipment that can help prevent such occurrences. Also, the people employed in such fields need to be skilled and experienced to minimize human error as much as possible.
Psychological Effects on Workers
Spills have been known to lead to the loss of lives and even affect the mental health of people who witness such events. Some workers who survive such an ordeal may have to deal with PTSD, hindering them from doing their daily activities. There was a loss of jobs for people who were working on the ship. More often than not, when someone has gone through such an experience, they suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression. Some turn to substance abuse as a way of coping with all the unpleasant emotions they are feeling. Some can even become suicidal if the event is too traumatizing. Cases of increased gender-based violence may also be reported in the communities affected.
Physical Health Effects
It is not just sea animals that suffer physical effects from such an ordeal. Clean-up and response workers get affected as well. They are exposed to various hazards like oil and its components, dispersants, burning oil, strong cleaning agents, and other chemicals. This can lead to skin and eye irritation, and the respiratory tract can be affected as well. There are also long working hours that the body is not used to, leading to fatigue and general body stress. Other physical effects include dizziness, headaches, nausea/ vomiting, genotoxicity, endocrine toxicity, hypertension, and cardiovascular-related health problems.
Communities surrounding the sea depend on making an income from it. It can be setting up recreational activities that tourists can enjoy, selling seafood, and fishing. When such a spill happens, activities like fishing are closed so that people do not eat contaminated fish. This leads to a loss of livelihood for people depending on fishing. The loss of tourism is also another effect. Tourists no longer have much to see or do, especially with the closure of water recreational activities and the death of sea wildlife. Eventually, the economic status of the communities affected started to decline.
The best way to avoid these effects is through prevention. Companies drilling oil in the sea or even transporting it need to be extra careful and follow the safety rules set by the necessary authorities.