Residents line up to donate their hair to Peru’s tongan oil spill

2022-05-28 0 By

About 6,000 barrels of crude oil leaked from a tanker unloading oil from a Spanish oil company Repsol’s refinery in The Peruvian port city of Callao on January 15, Xinhua reported on January 25.Oil has been found in the waters and beaches of the capital Lima and Callao.Local media said nearly 174 hectares of the area had been contaminated by the oil.Repsol said unusual waves off the coast of Peru following a volcanic eruption in the South Pacific nation of Tonga were to blame.Peru’s president jose Castillo said the repsol refinery was mismanaged and had caused an “environmental disaster.”Local media said the area of the sea contaminated by crude oil was close to 174 hectares.Peruvians are lining up to donate their hair, which they hope will be turned into a floating boom to soak up the oil, foreign media reported.One kilogram of hair can absorb about eight kilograms of crude oil, according to a study.Local environmental groups, beauty salons and others have taken to social media to urge people to donate their hair in the wake of the oil spill.The government of Peru’s capital, Lima, also posted on its official social media account, urging people to join the campaign to donate hair to help mitigate the impact of the oil spill on the Peruvian coast.Nicole Castillo, founder of Hair Boom Peru, an environmental group, said in an interview: ‘We want to be proactive in mitigating and controlling pollution and not expanding the area of water affected by the spill.’The organization’s initial goal was to set up collection sites for human and pet hair in several districts of Lima, but the number of people participating quickly expanded to dozens of cities along the coast.The city government of Lima urges people to join the campaign to donate hair.”The collected hair could also help environmental researchers develop the latest and most advanced methods for cleaning up oil spills,” Castillo said.She added that the project could encourage more environmentally friendly solutions to oil pollution.A total of 470 Lima residents have donated hair weighing about 30 kilograms, according to statistics released by the city government.In addition to human hair, about 750 kilograms of wool will also be donated.After the hair is made into containment booms to capture and contain the oil, it is disposed of as toxic waste in special landfills.Jenny Zenobio, PhD in ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry, says that using hair as a raw material for booms allows crude to be processed safely and biodegrades after use without adversely affecting the environment.The method was first tried in the 1970s, when more than 220,000 tons of oil spilled from a Liberian oil tanker that ran aground off the coast of France.In August 2020, a Japanese freighter hit a reef off the southeastern tip of Mauritius, triggering a massive oil spill that spilled about 1,000 tons of crude oil into the waters off Mauritius.At that time, France, Japan and other experts sent teams to assist Mauritius to solve the oil spill crisis.Local residents also thought of using the principle of hair “oil absorption, not water absorption”, have gone to the barber’s hair cut, put the hair into fishing nets tied to make oil boom, in order to prevent further spread and adsorption of crude oil.Japanese cargo ship that ran aground and leaked oil in August 2020.Mauritian MP Joanna Berenger said in an interview with foreign media at the time that citizens were building several kilometers of containment booms to contain the spill.”We used to make booms out of sugar cane leaves,” she says. “Now we also use hair because hair is lipophilic, repulsive to water, but actively absorbs oil and is a good adsorbent for crude oil.”A university of Technology Sydney study also found that dog hair is as good at cleaning oil as human hair.The team compared the absorbability of MATS made from dog hair and human hair with that of polypropylene, a plastic fabric used to absorb oil spills from the surface, and peat moss, which is used to absorb oil spills from land.They found that MATS made of dog and human hair were more effective than sphagnum sphagnum at removing crude oil on land.In sandy environments, polypropylene sorbents work better than hair.”Dog hair is amazing for cleaning up oil, and the felt mat made of dog hair and human hair can absorb oil very easily,” said Megan Murray, an environmental scientist and lead author of the study.She added that sphagnum moss is not as absorbent as dog hair or mat made from dog hair and human hair when cleaning up oil spills on land.And because harvesting sphagnum in large quantities can degrade wetland ecosystems, she suggests replacing sphagnum with dog hair or synthetic hair MATS to deal with oil spills on land surfaces.Megan added that while the current study proves polypropylene is still the most suitable material for cleaning up oil spills in environments such as beaches, the findings mean it could be possible to use hair to adsorb oil from the surface on a large scale.”Dog hair and felt MATS could also be used in other ecological conservation projects, such as removing pollutants from flowing waters,” she added.Red Star news reporter Wang Yalin intern reporter Li Jinrui editor Zhang Xun (download Red Star news, the news prize!)