Effects of Oil and Chemically Dispersed Oil in the Environment

Quiz Question

1. Crude oil is a complex, highly variable mixture of hydrocarbons and other trace compounds. Exposure may cause a variety of adverse effects, including narcosis, slowed growth, reduced reproduction, and death.
True
False
2. Toxicity is the "inherent potential or capacity of a material (in this case, oil or dispersed oil) to cause adverse effects in living organisms".
True
False
3. The amount of oil exposure an organism will experience depends on many factors, including:

  1. Oil type
  2. Spill volume
  3. Shoreline type
  4. Tide stage
  5. Weather conditions
True
False
4. There are four main routes of exposure for organisms during a spill:
Direct contact
Ingestion
Inhalation
Absorption
All of the above
5. Dissolution Oil breaks up into droplets in the water beneath the slick and may float away. As a result, water column resources can be exposed through direct contact, ingestion, and absorption.
True
False
6. Biodegradation – Oil is slowly broken down by resident bacteria into H2O and CO2.
True
False
7. Photo-oxidation – Sunlight transforms some oil components into new by-products, which may be more toxic and water-soluble than the original components. Water surface and water column resources can be exposed to the by-products through inhalation, direct contact, absorption, and ingestion.
True
False
8. After oil is spilled, it typically undergoes eight main fate and weathering processes, which may all occur simultaneously in different degrees.
True
False
9. Intertidal resources – These resources live in the areas that are exposed to air during low tides, but submerged during high tides. They also include many species of crabs, bivalves, and plants. If a spill reaches the shore, these resources are at high risk of exposure, as successive layers of oil can be put down by tides and winds.
True
False
10. Solvents are chemical compounds that are included in dispersants to assist the surfactants in penetrating the oil.
True
False
11. Persistence refers to oil or refined product’s tendency to remain in the environment for a long period of time following a discharge.
True
False
12. Solubility is the capability of a substance to be dissolved in a liquid, such as water. Technically, it is the equilibrium concentration of the product (e.g., components of oil) when in contact with the solution (e.g., water).
True
False
13. Parts-per-million (ppm) is one part chemical (e.g., oil) per 1,000,000 (106) parts of the medium (e.g., seawater) in which it is contained. For water, the ratio commonly used is milligrams of chemical per liter of water, 1mg/L E1 ppm.
True
False
14. Surface Tension is a fluid’s internal resistance to flow. Highly viscous oil will not flow easily. This physical property of the oil or refined product is important to understand, as it helps determine the oil’s behavior during a spill.
True
False
15. Evaporation is the preferential transfer of light and medium-weight oil components from the liquid phase to the vapor phase (into the atmosphere)
True
False
16. Natural dispersion is the process of forming small oil droplets that become incorporated into the water column in the form of a dilute oil-in-water suspension. This process occurs when breaking waves mix the WHOLE OIL into the water column.
True
False
17. Depuration is the elimination of a chemical from organisms, such as shellfish, by desorption, excretion, diffusion, or another route.
True
False
18. Sea state is a numerical code that describes the height of wind-generated waves. It is often compared to the average wind speed generating those waves.
True
False
19. The main factors influencing aquatic toxicities of dispersant-oil mixtures are:
Dispersed Hydrocarbons
Dispersant
a & b
None of the above
20. Whenever an oil spill occurs in the general vicinity of a coral reef, the use of dispersants should be considered to prevent floating oil from reaching the reef.
True
False