Question of the Day: Are we going to be breathing oil?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hi. As I understand it, oil floats. At least some of the oil that’s leaked from the Deep Water Horizon wellhead is floating at or near the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Open water storms, including hurricanes, pick up moisture from the bodies of water over which they form and from which they derive their energy. Once they make landfall, that water becomes the rain that falls on our yards and streets, and on the crops growing in our fields, and that floods our streams and rivers. More importantly, it is the rain that touches our skin and permeates the air we breathe.

As workers who cleaned up after the Exxon Valdez will tell you, breathing oil isn’t good.

My question is, will the rain from storms crossing the oil in the Gulf contain even microscopic volumes of oil? To what extent does this oil-involved rain pose a health hazard, over what geographic area, and what are we going to do about it?

Anybody out there know?

Oh, in case you’re assuming our crackerjack government is on top of the problem, don’t hold your breath – unless, of course, it’s raining.

-wf

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