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Psychological Health Effects Of Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill

2828 words - 12 pages

Introduction
Oil spills happens every year through cleaning of tankers. These spills contribute more petro-pollutants to the ocean than offshore rig blowouts though less attention is generated when compared to blowouts of oil rigs (Nadakavukaren, 2006). Whenever there is a rig blowout or tanker spill, far more attention is attracted as in the case of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is an oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico with oil spilling for three months in 2010. This spill generated a lot of attention and the EPA is monitoring the air, water, sediments and waste management data so as to protect people from this environmental disaster “The EPA has an active oil spill prevention program which focuses on activities to prevent, respond and prepare to oil spills” (EPA, 2010). There are environmental, economic, health and political consequences of this spill. The psychological health effects of deep water oil spill will be discussed with evaluation of previous psychological health effects of previous oil spills. To understand and evaluate the health effects or consequences of this oil spill, it is imperative to also review the psychological effects of previous spills. Adverse health effects on disaster cleanup workers, fisherman, and others have been studied from previous oil spills. Acute symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, eye irritation, headaches will not be discussed. This paper will review the psychological health effects of deep water horizon oil spill.
Events
The Gulf of Mexico spill of 2010 was caused by an explosion on the deep water horizon offshore oil plat form off the Gulf of Mexico. This explosion caused crude oil to gush out into the ocean and can be attributed to both company and human errors. These companies were trying to maximize their profits. This was preventable and as stated by the presidential panel “The spill was a preventable one, caused by a series of failures and blunders by the companies involved in drilling the well” (NY Times, 2010). To save money, BP engineers often maximize profits by their choice of maintenance options-cheaper options is good for the bottom-line “The engineers repeatedly take quicker, cheaper and ultimately more dangerous actions, compared with available options” (NOLA, 2010). There were five human errors that were generated by NOLA from 100 hours of testimony before a federal investigative panel. These human errors were: Fewer barriers to gas flow, fewer centralizers to keep cement even, no bond log to test cement integrity, mud barrier removed early and pressure test misinterpreted which ultimately led to the failure of the blowout preventer. These are maintenance issues that were neglected “According to a separate 112-page equipment assessment also commissioned by Transocean, many of the components-including the blowout preventer and fail safe valves had not been fully inspected since 2000, even though guidelines require inspection of the preventer every...

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