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Name: Charlotte N.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001

What are the effects of oil pollution on soil/land? I know that oil sticks to everything and that it is harmful to soil bacteria, and invertebrates, can you elaborate? I have also read alot about oil spills on water and know when oil is dumped on land it can eventually get into the water by underground streams, ground water, etc. I was hoping you could give sources or information.


Everything you say is correct. An overlooked downside to oil spills on land is what was dissolved or suspended in the oil before it was spilled. Often people change the oil in their car and then dump the oil down the drain (water pollution and damage to the bacterial colonies in the sewage disposal plant) or dump it on the ground from which it (sooner or later) finds its way into the water supply.

Automobile engine oil is often contaminated with toxic metals which result from normal wear of the engine's bearings. This is an overlooked source of pollution that harms the water supply. Some people even use waste engine oil as a fuel for oil-burning heaters. This is a very bad practice because it releases the toxic metals into the air.

The Internet should provide almost endless references to the pollution problems in which you have interest.


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