Tag Archives: oil dispersants

The Ripple Effect of the Oil Spill: Prevention, Human Health, and More

Tuesday the presidential panel investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill released its final report, analyzing problems that led to the incident and making recommendations for new regulations to prevent a similar disaster. The National Research Council, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that discuss causes of the oil spill and its effects on human health.

Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events examines the probable causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire, and oil spill and identifies measures for preventing similar harm in the future. The book addresses the performance of technologies and practices involved in the probable causes of the Macondo well blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. It also explores industry best practices and standards, and identifies and recommends available technologies and measures that can ensure a higher level of safety in deepwater exploratory drilling and well completion.

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop identifies populations at increased risks for adverse health effects and explores effective communication strategies to convey health information to these populations. The book also discusses the need for appropriate surveillance systems to monitor the spill’s potential short- and long-term health effects on communities and individuals.

These books and others that focus on the disaster and environmental valuation in general serve as a resource to guide policy and decision making.

Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events

The National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council have released the interim report of the Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the…
Details

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of dispersants, with oil…
Details

Review of the Proposal for the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study Review of the Proposal for the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study: Highlights from the September 2010 Workshop: Workshop Report

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is unprecedented not only in its size but also in the use of chemical dispersants and controlled burns to remove the oil. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is designing a study to investigate the…
Details

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching psychological…
Details

Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands: Designing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment – Special Report 293

TRB Special Report 293, Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands: Designing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment, provides guidance for a comprehensive risk assessment of vessel accidents and spills in the Aleutian Islands. The report…
Details

Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making

Federal agencies have taken steps to include the public in a wide range of environmental decisions. Although some form of public participation is often required by law, agencies usually have broad discretion about the extent of that involvement. Approaches vary…
Details

A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy

Ocean research offers countless benefits, from improving fisheries management to discovering new drugs to enabling early detection of tsunamis and hurricanes. At the request of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST), the National Research…
Details

Improving Disaster Management Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and…
Details

Drawing Louisiana's New Map Drawing Louisiana’s New Map: Addressing Land Loss in Coastal Louisiana

During the past 50 years, coastal Louisiana has suffered catastrophic land loss due to both natural and human causes. This loss has increased storm vulnerability and amplified risks to lives, property, and economies–a fact underscored by Hurricanes Katrina…
Details

Oil Spill Dispersants Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects

Approximately 3 million gallons of oil or refined petroleum products are spilled into U.S. waters every year. Oil dispersants (chemical agents such as surfactants, solvents, and other compounds) are used to reduce the effect of oil spills by changing…
Details

Valuing Ecosystem Services Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is…
Details

Understanding the Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill

The disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill has heightened the American public’s awareness concerning the effects—both immediate and delayed—of grand-scale pollution. But will this awareness lead to better energy choices for the future? The choice is ours.

More ways to learn about the effects of the Gulf oil spill:

IOM Workshop on Human Health Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Many questions surround the oil spill’s potential effects on the short- and long-term health of individuals in affected regions. In response, the Institute of Medicine has planned a two-day workshop in New Orleans that draws on scientific, medical, and public health experts’ experience and knowledge to examine a range of health issues related to the Gulf of Mexico spill. The discussions will help officials anticipate potential problems and determine how best to proceed in detecting and monitoring health risks and outcomes. Watch the live video webcast from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday June 22nd.

TEDxOilSpill – new ideas for our energy future, and how we can mitigate the current crisis in the Gulf

TEDxOilSpill will tackle the tough questions raised by the recent and ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Topics will include mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; as well as new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, DC
June 28, 2010 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Oil and Pollution in the Ocean – Information and Resources from the Oceans Studies Board

The Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council has summarized several past reports on the impact of oil and other pollutants in the ocean in their Ocean Science Series booklet, Pollution in the Ocean. Access the free PDF here.

Further Resources from NAP

The science of oil spills and oil spill dispersants

While you’ve no doubt been reading plenty of news about the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we’d like to offer you a different kind of reading: five books we’ve picked from the NAP collection that deal with the science of oil spills and oil spill dispersal. All of these books are available to read for free in their entirety online.

Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects


Using Oil Spill Dispersants on the Sea


Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects


The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions


Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope