Oil Pollution: Toxic to Our Planet

Discussion about oil pollution and how it is toxic to our planet, includes facts and figures on oil spills, the effect on animal and plant life and more.

| May/June 1971

  • Oil pollution is a deadly force ruining the health of this planet.
    Oil pollution is a deadly force ruining the health of this planet.
    Photo by Fotolia/Vibe Images
  • Chart: Ships filled with oil.
    Chart: Ships filled with oil.
    Photo by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

  • Oil pollution is a deadly force ruining the health of this planet.
  • Chart: Ships filled with oil.

Learn how oil pollution is destroying the health of our planet.

Oil Pollution: Toxic to Our Planet

During 1969, two hundred thirty-four ships carrying cargoes of oil crashed into one another, dashed themselves upon reefs, or otherwise did themselves in.

During 1966 — the last year for which such figures are available to us — the waters of the U.S. had 2,000 oil spills of one kind or another.

Things have advanced to the point where off the coast of Labrador alone, some 350,000 birds a year become sufficiently covered with oil that they A) cannot fly, or B) because some natural buoyancy has been interfered with, cannot float, or C) because their food supply is similarly coated, cannot eat without being poisoned.

The experience throughout the world has been that at least 90% of all birds so afflicted by oil die, no matter what attempts are made to save them.

World-wide, several million birds are killed by oil every year. So are seals, otters, fish and billions of undersea organisms that they feed on. And the number is growing.


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