ENTITY discusses the dangers of oil spillsPhoto via @cgtn / Instagram

Yes, those soap ads with the cute baby animals pull at the heartstrings, but the dangers of oil spills reach much farther than poor ducks and seals. Oil spills are detrimental to the Earth and they’re occurring more than they did in the past. The number of oil spills quadrupled in number since the year 2000 and there are so many effects that go unnoticed.

Some oil spills are so large that they become media sensations, but there are so many that aren’t the BP Oil Spill and people aren’t fully aware of the impacts.

The Worst Oil Spills in History

ENTITY discusses the dangers of oil spills

The Deepwater Horizon Spill (aka the BP Oil Spill) is only the second-worst oil spill in history. While we’re still feeling the effects of the 210 million gallons of oil spilled across 572 miles, the worst oil spill in the world was still more devastating.

That one happened in 1991 during the Gulf War. Iraqi forces deliberately released 330 million gallons of oil into a sea near Kuwait. The oil covered more than 1,500 miles of the sea with a four-inch coat. Can you imagine how detrimental that was?

The Little Known Effects of Oil Spills on the Economy

ENTITY discusses the dangers of oil spills

We all know oil spills hit the environment hard but they hit our wallets hard too. The cleanup and aftermath are unfathomably expensive. The BP Oil Spill, for example, racked up $61.6 billion in the eight years following the disaster.

The high cost of cleanup and other damage control actions might be obvious but there are many effects that people don’t even consider. Areas affected by oil spills see a dip in tourism due to the negative publicity. If a town thrives on tourism to drive their local economy and then an oil spill occurs, they could lose a ton of money. The negative image of oil spills effects areas long after they clean up the oil, so the dip could occur over years.

The Little Known Effects of Oil Spills on the Environment

ENTITY discusses the dangers of oil spills

Recently there was an oil spill near the Rock River in Iowa on June 22 with an estimated 230,000 gallons worth of oil going into the river. The citizens of the towns downstream have many concerns about what the oil spill will mean for the area. A big concern is the quality of the drinking water and if it’s safe for them to use.

Other environmental effects that often get overlooked are the effects on the land. When we discuss oil spills, we often talk about the damage to the sea and marine life, but it has just as much as an effect on the land. Oil spills have a negative effect on the food chain due to contamination. This affects animal life but also plant life. Besides general contamination, oil cuts off plants from their water supply, essentially choking them up.

It also negatively affects the quality of air due to the pollutants found in oil. Oil spills affect not only local life and land, but can spread and affect everybody.

What We Can Do to Help

ENTITY discusses the dangers of oil spills

Luckily there’s plenty we can do to help when it comes to oil spill prevention and cleanup. If you have the resources and feel the need to donate, Dawn does wildlife cleanup and Matter of Trust has the Clean Wave Program where you can donate hair and old clothes to help clean up any future oil spills. The Sierra Club is also an awesome resource for everything environmental and ENTITY’s own CEO Jennifer Schwab was employed by the Sierra Club!

The Earth gives us so much, it is up to all of us to give back to it!

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