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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.53 (4) (July - Aug, 2012) (289 - 297)

OIL SPILLS - A THREAT TO LIFE

Namrata Singhal and Pallavi Mittal
ITS, Para Medical College, Muradnagar

Oil spills are a threat to public health, drinking water, natural resources and economy. About six million tons of oil finds its way into the sea each year. Chronic pollution occurs everywhere. When oil is spilled into an aquatic environment it harms the organisms that live on or around the water surface. Spilled oil damages part of food chain including human food resources. This article deals with the oil spills, its potential effects on life by affecting the environment, how it is cleaned up and the laws dealing with oil pollution. Oil includes a broad range of hydrocarbon based substances which are chemical compounds composed of the elements hydrogen and carbon. Oil can be categorized into five groups –

•    Very light oils (jet fuel, gasoline)
•    Light oils (diesel, heating oils)
•    Medium oils (most crude oils)
•    Heavy oils (heavy crude, No. 6 fuel oil)
•    Very heavy oils

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