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Contaminated seafood hazards due to oil spills:
This document explains the common reasons for oil tank leaks in or from home heating oil storage tanks.
Both underground tank leaks and above ground storage tank leak causes are discussed. Oil tank leaks are caused by corrosion, mechanical damage, soil conditions, other factors which are explained here.
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The actual level of oil or oil product contamination in various foods including types of fish is likely to vary widely as a function of the individual fish or food product, its location, its own exposure to spilled or leaked oil.
Below we list excerpts from various news reports and documents that provide some insight into this concern.
Fish photo (left, not contaminated) courtesy of Simply Seafoods - www.simplyseafoods.co.uk
Article Series Contents
Because fishermen are "not allowed" to fish in oil-spill contaminated waters, oil-contaminated seafood is not normally expected to reach consumers. A scan of the thundered of articles discussing the effect of a long history of oil spills in the Nigerian Delta supports this view for a second reason - severely oil-contaminated seafood is virtually inedible. A result is that popular media articles have not reported in depth on the actual contaminants in seafood from or near areas of oil spills.
As of mid June 2010, we had not found U.S. media reports confirming contamination in seafood near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill - but our OPINION is that conditions in that area remain evolving and that to date testing and studies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil spill area incomplete. By late June 2010, at least one third of the Gulf of Mexico fishing areas had been closed to commercial fishing, and the impact on U.S. fish markets, restaurants, and consumers had begun in the form of decreased fish supply and economic losses to workers and businesses throughout the seafood industry. - Reuters
In the United States, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported (29 May 2010, HHS.gov) that "Part of the federal government response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the monitoring of environmental conditions that might affect public health and the safety of seafood."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other U.S. agencies provided this 30 April 2010 update on the health risks associated with seafood from the Gulf of Mexico following the crude oil spill there:
Summary of Oil Contaminants in Seafood - what contaminants occur, where are they found?
- Websearch 6/17/2010, original source: "Is Delaware Bay Seafood Safe to Eat?", University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/oilspill/seafood.html
Key Recommendations for Protecting from Unsafe Seafood in Areas of Oil Spill Incidents
Managing Seafood Safety after an Oil Spill [PDF], Ruth Yender, Jacqueline Michel & Christine Lord, published by NOAA - quoting from that document's introduction:
Guidance on Sensory Testing and Monitoring of Seafood for Presence of Petroleum Taint Following an Oil Spill [PDF], NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS OR&R 9 - quoting from that document's introduction:
Readers concerned about possible health effects of eating oil-spill-contaminated seafood, fish, or other food products should also review the crude oil and heating oil material safety data sheets (MSDS) listed at the top of HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS for basic health information.
Because of a long history of more than fifty years of oil spills in the area, Nigeria appears most prominently in response to a search for oil spill-related environmental and food damage.
The article refers to... "the May 1 oil spillage from the Qua Iboe Oil Fields, which polluted water in the communities. Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of U.S. Oil firm, ExxonMobil, had, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mrs Gloria Essien-Danner, confirmed that oil was leaking from the company's pipeline." - Original source - http://allafrica.com/stories/201006150295.html 14 June 2010
In an earlier article from the same source quotes the oil producer:
- Original source - http://allafrica.com/stories/201004050784.html
- Websearch 6/15/2010, Original source, quoted in Greenpeace International's Shell Shocked, 11
The environmental and economic effects of oil production activities in Nigeria have been summarized by Chrisotpher O. Orubo et als as follows:
Material Safety Data Sheets for Crude Oil and Refined Heating Oil Products
Research on Contamination of Seafood by Oil Spills & Other Sources
Continue reading at HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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EXPOSURE to CRUDE OIL or HEATING OIL-CONTAMINATED FISH at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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