Table 851 Oil Pollution Effects On Marine Organisms

Organism

Immediate Area of Spill

Periphery of Spill

Possible

Long-Range

Damage

Zooplankton Benthic Organisms

Molluscs

Fish

Birds

Mammals

Phytoplankton

Algae

Higher Plants

Killed Smothered

Smothered

Hatch prematurely; if in stage may also be killed

Blindness; birds may also freeze

May freeze

Killed

Killed

Killed

Increased death rate Disorder in marine communities

Shellfish are sterilized; hydrocarbons are stored in the muscles Nutrition is upset

Resistance is lowered

Resistance is lowered

Retardation of cell division; damage to cell membranes

Replacement of native species with resistant foreign species

Gradual deterioration of the environment due to storage of oil in the sediment

Unknown Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown; possibility of stored hydrocarbons building up in the food chain Unknown per strata, and its by-products have many beneficial uses. Some are called oils, such as fuel oil. However, oily materials are also derived from coal, animal, and vegetable matter and are made synthetically. Oil is also a paraffin or hydrocarbon, i.e., composed mainly of the elements carbon and hydrogen.

Although no definition is complete, oily materials have several common properties. They are generally liquid at room temperature and are less dense than and usually not miscible with water; they spot brown paper and are flam mable; they tend to spread on water, producing slicks; and they are persistent and can produce troublesome emulsions.

The analytical method for measuring the amount of oily material in a substance also defines the substance. The most useful methods involve extracting the materials into a solvent, such as hexane, from a quantity of water. The separated solvent layer is evaporated, leaving residues of oily material related to its concentration in the sample. These residues are solvent extractables. Examples of other solvents are carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, benzene, and dichlorodifluoroethylene. Each solvent has somewhat different results owing to differences in properties and in the nature of the materials extracted. Non-oily matter such as organic acids and esters may also be extracted. Phenols, resins, sulfur, and some dyes can be included. Lighter hydrocarbons, if present, may volatilize when the solvent is evaporated.

Other methods of analysis employed are volumetric, refractive index, thin-layer and gas chromatography, infrared and ultraviolet spectrophotometry (Liptak 1972). Samples for analysis must be representative of the water under study. The tendency of oily materials to float, stick to surfaces, and separate from water makes taking good samples difficult, and it is in this area that many automatic samplers fail. Adding mixing chambers at sampling points in lines aids in proper sampling. Water standards that set quantitative limits on oil or oily matter should also specify the method of measurement. If a standard is based on an oily appearance, i.e., evidence of a floating layer, slick, or iridescence, then the term extractables has little meaning.

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