Diesel Spills: A Pollutant that Affects Both Humans and Animals

The world still runs on diesel. Diesel is a primary fuel source used in almost all Oil Spillindustries. The procurement, refinement, and transportation of this highly flammable liquid require the use of specialized equipment — this includes anything from reinforced diesel tankers to pneumatic pumps.

There are times when an accident or equipment failure leads to diesel spills, which can have detrimental effects on both humans and animals. Diesel is a significant environmental pollutant whose cleanup requires the help of a professional remediation company.

On the 14th of January 2017, Enviro Care, a full-service environmental company, had their hands full cleaning up a diesel spill from a tanker roll over in West Jordan, Utah. Diesel spills are a rather common occurrence because of the difficulty of extracting and transporting the liquid itself.

The Health Risks of Diesel

Diesel is highly flammable, and even its vapors could cause explosions if not contained. Diesel spills present a significant fire risk.

Along with the fire risk, diesel exposure is dangerous to your health. It can be extremely irritating to the eyes, respiratory system, and skin. Too much exposure to the fumes can lead to a condition called chemical pneumonitis.  Chemical pneumonitis is a type of lung inflammation whose symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. Sufferers may also have wet, gurgling breath and may feel a burning sensation in their lungs. Diesel is also a possible carcinogen.

Animals and plant life are also affected by diesel — fish, marine invertebrates and seaweed perish if they come in contact with it. Chronic exposure could also cause cancer in fish.

Safety and Clean up

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has strict regulations in place for the collection and transport of diesel. The fuel must be stored in approved containers which are designed to control spills and prevent volatile gasses from escaping. There are also strict guidelines on how to dispense and handle the liquids.

In the event of a diesel spill, an environmental remediation company needs to be called in. They follow strict protocols for cleaning the spill and can minimize its negative effects on people and the environment.