Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Research Paper

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill started in 20 April 2010. It resulted in the death of 11 people. In addition, it damaged the marine ecosystem. BP owned the off-shore oil drilling facility.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the release of approximately 5 million barrels of oil into the sea. There was unrestricted flow of oil into the sea for almost 3 months. A massive explosion caused the oil to spill into the sea. BP capped the oil rig on 15 July 2010.

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Thousands of workers were involved in various activities to remove the oil from the environment. This exposed the workers to various toxic chemicals found in oil. Benzene is one of the major toxic compounds found in oil (Freudenburg & Gramling, 2011).

Acme Industrial Hygiene Consultants conducted a benzene exposure assessment in its facility between June 2010 and August 2010. The study compared the levels of exposure of and boat operators.

The study showed that beach cleanup crew who were in certain locations had exposure that exceeded the occupational exposure limits (OEL). However, boat operators did not have exposure that exceeded the OEL.

Acme Industrial Hygiene Consultants conducted a study on the potential benzene exposure due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The study compared the rate of exposure of benzene of the boat operators and the beach cleanup crew.

in the . On the other hand, beach cleanup crew worked focused on near shore remedial operations.

The study involved collection of personal samples from the interested parties. The samples determined the parties that had higher exposure to benzene. The sampling time was 4 hours and the flow rate was 0.05 L/min for charcoal tube.

Benzene is a highly toxic compound. Exposure to benzene usually leads to the suppression of bone marrow cell proliferation in humans. In addition, benzene leads to hematological disorders. Chronic exposure to benzene may lead to fatal health conditions. It may lead to aplastic anemia.

In addition, benzene is a known human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene increases the likelihood of suffering from leukemia and other types of cancer.

In addition, an individual who works in a location that has exposure to 1 ppm of benzene is 1.5 times more likely to suffer from leukemia than an individual who works in a benzene free environment (Rinsky, Smith & Hormung, 1987).

There are several signs and symptoms of exposure to benzene. These conditions are dependent on the level of exposure. Acute exposure of benzene may lead to confusion, euphoria, stomach pain, vomiting, and burning of the mouth, pharynx, and esophagus.

The time it takes to experience these conditions is usually dependent on the magnitude of the dose that the individual has ingested (Greenberg, 2003). There are no specific early symptoms of chronic exposure to benzene. The symptoms may vary from one individual to another.

Manifestation of thrombocytopenia is one of the early symptoms of chronic exposure to benzene. Benzene poisoning does not have an antidote. Removal from exposure and administration of oxygen are the major methods of treating benzene poisoning (Lazaridis & Colbeck, 2010).

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the (TWA) workplace permissible exposure level (PEL) of benzene is 1 ppm.

In addition, the of benzene is 5 ppm. OSHA used several studies to determine the legal limits of exposure to benzene.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the acceptable exposure limit of benzene is 0.1 ppm for a 10-hour TWA. NIOSH stipulates that workers should treat benzene as a human carcinogen (Morgan et al., 2013).

Section 112 of the Clean Air Act classifies benzene as a harmful pollutant. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have specific air standards for benzene. EPA has several regulations that limit benzene emissions during the filling of storage tanks in gas stations.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 led to a significant reduction in ambient levels of benzene. According to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, drinking water should not have more than 5 ppb of benzene.

In fact, the EPA strives to ensure that there is zero benzene concentration in drinking water. This would reduce the health effects due to exposure to benzene (Lippmann, 2009).

The study used charcoal tubes (SKC lot 107) to collect benzene. The study evaluated the benzene using OSHA Method 12. Passive samplers are vital in the assessment of the sampling performance of benzene. Passive samplers had a high rate during the first 5 minutes.

Therefore, it was vital to use a sampling time of at least 10 minutes. This would produce the most accurate results. Below are the statistical results for the personal samples of the cleanup crew and boat operators.


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