Tag: VOC

It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood — well NOT Really

Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore

by Jay Reeves, John Flesher, Tamara Lush (AP) — Jun 16, 2010

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange phenomena.

Fish and other wildlife seem to be fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast in a trend that some researchers see as a potentially troubling sign.

The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.

“A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire?

But, but those Sea Critters, CAN’T RUN onto the Land, most of them.

Smells like Tasman Spirit

On July 27, 2003, the oil tanker Tasman Spirit ran aground at the entrance to the port city of Karachi.  Laden with sweet crude, the vessel lay beached for two weeks before eventually breaking up and spilling 35,000 tons (10,780,000 gallons) of her cargo into the bay, from which an estimated 11,000 metric tons of toxic gasses known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) evaporated into the air.

Fumes from the volatile organic compounds and mist containing hydrocarbons, accompanied by a strong smell, dispersed into the residential area, the researchers and others said. Local hospitals reported many cases of headaches, nausea and dizziness and seventeen schools in the vicinity were closed for about a week. Local media showed pictures of piles of dead fish and turtles on the oiled beach.

The tragic incident so close to a large city provided a chance to test the effects of oil spill VOCs on densely populated areas. Immediately following the spill, researchers began to study the health impact of the noxious fumes on the city’s approximately 700,000 affected residents.