[Info last updated: April 27, 2012]
Tools, Data, and News
Overview: In this lesson students will review the BP oil spill and learn about current ways we are cleaning it up. They will test different methods that are currently being used in the gulf clean-up. After testing they will analyze the different methods and determine the most efficient way to clean up the oil spill. This activity is appropriate for grades 6th-8th.
Available from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dispersants and Your Health
What are oil spill dispersants?
How are oil spill dispersants used?
What are the health threats of oil spill dispersants?
If your skin is exposed to dispersants for a long time, a rash and dry skin could develop. Dispersants can also irritate your eyes.
If you breathe in dispersants for a long time or several times they can irritate your nose, throat, and lungs.
Swallowing dispersants will cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you are exposed to dispersants for a long time or several times they can also cause central nervous system effects; sleepiness; damage to your blood, kidney or liver; and a metallic taste in your mouth.
How can I avoid the health threats of oil spill dispersants?
If you are working on the spill, wear nitrile or PVC gloves, coveralls, boots, and chemical splash goggles to keep dispersants off your skin and out of your eyes.
If you breathe in dispersants, move to an area where the air is clearer.
If you get dispersants on your skin, immediately wash with soap and water. If symptoms develop, seek medical attention.
If you get dispersants in your eyes, flush them with water for 15 minutes.
If you swallow dispersants, do not try to vomit, as this may get dispersants into your lungs and cause pneumonia. Wash out your mouth with water and seek medical attention.
[Info last updated: April 20, 2012]
Be sure to refer to local health information from each specific state.
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