Stop Water Contamination

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Kinder Morgan, an oil company made a proposal to the government to triple their pipelines and use the argument that although there will be three times more oil spills but there are positive effects of oil spills. According to Kinder Morgan, the fact that more oil spills are positive because it grants people the opportunity to get jobs cleaning it up. This does not compensate for the endless negative effects of oils spills. This article will discuss the most major of these problems. These problems include the fact that it damages ecosystems and has not only has a negative effect on animals but negatively affects us.

“When an oil slick from a large oil spill reaches the beach, the oil coats and clings to every rock and grain of sand. If the oil washes into coastal marshes, mangrove forests or other wetlands, fibrous plants and grasses absorb the oil, which can damage the plants and make the whole area unsuitable as wildlife habitat.”[2]. This excerpt shows how oil can damage ecosystems by travelling through the tide and through the groundwater. Once it gets onto the beach, it is almost impossible to stop it as it sticks to every individual grain of sand and tide slowly carries it up the sand. Slowly it lowers in the layers of soil until it reaches the groundwater zone and then travels and spreads everywhere. Once they reach different areas, they are in the soil and in the water and start damaging ecosystems. Like said in the quote they oil is absorbed by the grass and plants which can damage them and plants being the main support of the ecosystem, if they die out, this will cause whole ecosystem collapse.

“When some of the oil eventually stops floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink into the marine environment, it can have the same kind of damaging effects on fragile underwater ecosystems, killing or contaminating many fish and smaller organisms that are essential links in the global food chain.”[2]. As mentioned, the fact that the oil sinks and contaminates many fish, as these small fish are eaten by bigger fish, the oil concentration and mercury concentration raises, and then we will eat this fish. This makes us not only have to worry about the mercury concentration but also about the oil concentrations that may be in our food. This damage done to marine ecosystems and us is extremely negative to the environment as the plankton in the ocean provide us 70% of our oxygen and if they die out, we will be left with the little amounts given from rainforests, trees, and other sources. Bringing us to the whole other problem of deforestation which will make us run out of oxygen. This one problem is linked and interconnected with all other problems, once it happens it's all downhill from there.

With an oil spill, there are multiple negative effects to the body that can enter the body in multiple ways, these are contaminated air, contact through skin and entering contaminated water.

Petroleum products have multiple volatile compounds emitted as gases from spilled oil, the air we breath becomes contaminated by gases with strong smelling odors. Even when odors are not smelt, a health risk still remain for some specific compounds if we are in the substances for a while. But when the smell has an odor, the effects are even more devastating. Once in the air, contamination may travel over long distances. Once these contaminants are in the air, they spread everywhere due to precipitation patterns and wind. [5]

Oil contact with the skin is possible while walking in a contaminated area. From the beginning, the skin will be irritated. Another complication includes that the oil may be absorbed through the skin and enter the body. This may also happen by contamination through entering contaminated water, for example swimming in a contaminated source of water, the oil may not be visible by the unaided eye, the contaminants of the oil remain in the water. [5]

To conclude there are multiple negative effects of oil spills and nothing can compensate for them, the only solution being preventing them in the first place. Oil spills damage everything they touch, destroy ecosystems, end up in our food supply, contaminate our air, and damage us by entering through contact with the skin.

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