The toxicological outcomes of oil spills and oil fires

Erkekoǧlu P., Giray Kocer B.

Fabad Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol.35, no.1, pp.45-58, 2010 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Name: Fabad Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.45-58
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Oil may be a variety of materials, including crude oil, refined petroleum products or by-products, oily refuse or oil mixed in waste. With a high content of several organic compounds, oil may be the target of several terrorist attacks or may be spilt by accident. The term "oil spill" mainly refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills must be taken into consideration seriously as sea organisms can either be poisoned by ingestion or can be affected by direct contact. On the other hand, oil well fires are oil gushers that have caught on fire and burn uncontrollably. These fires are more difficult to extinguish than regular fires due to the enormous fuel supply for the fire. Exposure to their dust and smoke can cause several short-term and longterm health effects as there comprise of several compounds like gases, acidic gases, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. This review will mainly focus on oil spills, oil well fires and their environmental and health effects. Besides, measures to be taken are also covered by this contribution.