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 How Oil Spills Can Hurt the Environment 

Oil Spill Cleanup

Whether they are due to damaged tankers or pipelines, oil spills can have a devastating effect on the environment. The after effects can last for many years. Here are a few different ways that oil spills impact the environment.


If you have ever viewed the commercial with a duck covered in oil, you have seen the effects of oil spills. Birds can become deeply impacted by oil spills if they don’t escape soon enough. When oil coats their feathers, it makes it impossible to fly and impacts their insulation and waterproofing. If the birds swallow oil, they can suffer internal organ damage and die.

Breeding Grounds

Oil spills can also affect the breeding grounds of several species. For example, sea turtles have to come on land to nest and can be harmed by the oil on the beach where they lay their eggs. These eggs will have difficulty developing properly.

Marine Animals

Oil spills can be a real threat to dolphins, whales, seals and other marine animals. It can block the blowholes of whales and dolphins and cover the furs of otters and seals. Marine animals can also suffer if the oil affects their food supply. If they eat fish or other food that has been covered in oil, they can die.

Hiring an Oil Spill Cleanup Service

If your company spilled oil, it is important to take immediate action. Oil spills can do considerable damage to the environment, so the sooner you mitigate the damage, the better. A reputable oil spill cleanup company may use several different methods to clean up these spills, including:


  • Sorbents. Sorbents soak up materials through absorption or adsorption. Various materials may be used as sorbents, like peat moss, hay or straw.
  • Oil booms. Oil booms surround oil like a fence to keep it from further spreading. This method of oil cleanup can only be used if the oil is one one spot.
  • Skimmers. Skimmers are frequently used after oil booms. These devices remove oil from the water like a vacuum cleaner.
  • Manual labor. Sometimes oil spills can be cleaned up with hands, shovels and other manual methods. This method can be time-consuming, but it is more economical than other methods.

If you need assistance cleaning up an oil spill, you may want to contact an oil spill cleanup company, like Nielsen Environmental, as soon as possible.