Three Ways the Oil Spill May Threaten Human Health

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has many people fearing the environmental impact of pumping 210,000 gallons of toxic oil into a large marine ecosystem. But if the oil rig’s fluid-control systems fail, the expanding oil slick may also become a human health threat.

Little attention has been given to preparing for the worst-case scenario – a catastrophic failure of the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead and fluid-control systems. Right now, the leaking oil pipes slow the amount of oil released by the rig. Should they fail, the oil slick could increase by 60,000 to 160,000 barrels per day – that’s the equivalent of one Valdez every two days.