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I would like to rephrase this question as to what impact on health can an oil spill cause.

Disease frequently means an illness caused by a bacteria, fungus or virus. This does not apply in oil spill.

But, oil spills can make people ill. If oil gets into seafood, and the concentration is high enough, it will cause sickness and even death if the concentrations are high enough and depending on the composition of the oil.

The BP oil spill contained a crude oil with harmful compounds like benzene. However, a discussed in the CDC link, these evaporate pretty quickly. Also, it was very important to quarentine certain areas to fishing to prevent anyone from getting contaminated fish.

For people cleaning up oil spills, the breathing of fumes can also make them sick. This is why the people cleaning up the oil spill were given frequent breaks so they could breath fresh air.

There was no significant air pollution problems with the BP oil spill, but the Kuwait war oil spill was very different, as the oil wells were lit on fire. In this case, the oil spill can cause breathing problems, and can be very dangerous to the health of the elderly.

In determining the health impact, scientists evaluate how the hydrocarbon compounds enter the human body- through the skin, through breathing or through eating seafood. The means of entry, the concentration (dose) and the length of time that the body is exposed to these compounds are variables in assessing the health impact.

Each oil spill is different as the crude oil is a complex mixture that is constantly changing due to evaporation and weathering. The quantity of oil spilled can be anywhere from hundreds of barrels to millions of barrels (as in the BP spill). This makes it difficult to generalize the impact on human health.

See related link.

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Q: What diseases do oil spills cause?
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How can oil spills be damaging?

Oil spills in the ocean can cause animals to be harmed because they become coated with oil and so does their food.

Do oil spills cause diseases?

Yes. Oil affects the ecosystem and the food chain, as well as drinking water. Eventually some of the oil or its byproducts will end up in our bodies, causing illness and disease. Further, the animals we eat may develop diseases due to the oil, and we may be affected by these animal diseases as well.

Why do boats cause oil spills?

Cracks in the hull

The cause of oil spills?

Many things, including wars, ship wrecks, and wells exploding are some of the few causes of oil spills.

Do Tsunamis cause oil spills?

They can if they go anywere near an oil tanker or an oil rig

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What is the cause of water pollution in the middle east?

Oil spills

How does oil spills kill sea otters?

cause the oil is posion and if it gets on their food it could kill them!

Why does oil present the biggest problem?

I have included two links. Oil spills cause pollution, and can be injury or death to workers on rigs. Many spills are small, and do not cause wide spread environmental damage. See links.

Does drilling for oil create oil spills?

It can definitely contribute to oil spills.

Why are oil spills so disastrous?

Because oil is such a valuable nonrenewable resource, for it to spill would cause gas prices to rise. When it spills, we are losing a lot of oil we could sell so we are losing money.