Oil Birds
How Does Oil Spill Pollution Affect Us?

These organic compounds may affect the wildlife (including fish and birds) and humans in various ways:


  • by direct contact with the skin - some of the oil components could be irritants to the skin and may also penetrate into our bodies via skin absorption
  • through inhalation - many individual components of oil are volatile and thus may easily evaporate and while breathing can enter our bodies. Some less volatile compounds (such as PAHs) may adsorb on dust and other small particulate matter suspended in the breathing air and may get into our bodies through inhalation of small particulate matter from the air
  • through ingestion of contaminated water and/or particles
  • through emitted odors - How many of us have smelled gasoline or diesel/fuel oil and noticed the strong unpleasant smell? Usually, crude oil and its various distillates have strong unpleasant odor

  • by consuming contaminated food (some of the oil hydrocarbons such as PAHs bioaccumulate in fish and other organisms and may concentrate many times more than in water or other media)
  • by disrupting professional and/or recreational activities due to the oil pollution in certain areas
  • by decreased property values from the affected areas - it is logical to imagine the drops in house values in a polluted area;
  • aesthetically - by visual alteration of marine, beach and many other environments (where the oil spill occurred)
  • overall economic impact - in the community affected by the oil spill

How Does an Oil Spill Behave in the Environment?

Depending on where and how an oil spill occurs, it will have distinct environmental effects. For example:

  • A marine oil spill is usually degraded fast since water is an excellent medium for dispersion, emulsifying and microbial degradation processes. If released in the water, oil and oil products tend to accumulate at the surface of the water and float on the water. Small oil droplets may also form which may increase the surface contact with water and also the natural biodegradation of the spilled oil
  • An oil spill on the land may penetrate underground and move downward reaching eventually the groundwater. However, such vertical movement may be slowed done if not prevented by the presence of paved surfaces, natural clay layers or other natural or anthropogenic barriers. Oil may also move laterally along less permeable layers (including surface pavements) or with groundwater and surface waters
  • An oil spill in the underground (such as from pipelines or underground storage tank leaking) will likely affect the groundwater since the vertical traveling distance is reduced. Such spill may also result in oil residuals that could be entrapped underground constituting a secondary source of groundwater pollution
Anastasiya Otkidach
Project creator and photographer
Ara Arush
Edit & Director Ara Arush
Aleksa Danshina
Producer & Assistant
Designer OVERSZ Alexander Gornostaev
Modeler OVERSZ Natalia Alferenko
Devyatsot filmmakers
Video 1,2 camera Tatiana Khoma & Ivan Urban
Anna Arush
Liliya Mordovina
Make-up Artist
Ori Hitam
Model "Black Bird"
Anya Shell
Vita Vinogradskaya, Diana Gainullina, Anny Krasiy, Yana Yanovskaya
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