Can A Heating Oil Spill Harm My Health?

Yes! An oil leak in your home should not be viewed lightly and you should take immediate action if you have one, as it can cause severe damage to a property as well as threaten human health.

The effects of oil spills on humans may be direct and indirect, depending on the type of contact with the oil spill.

By inhaling harmful fumes – since petroleum products have many volatile compounds which are emitted as gases from spilled oil, the air becomes contaminated with those volatile oil products or vapours producing specific odours.

Even when odours are not felt, a health risk may exist for some individual compounds if residents are exposed for a long time. Of course, when the smell is obvious the health risk increases.

Exposure to heating oil can cause some short, or long-term health effects if the volume or concentration of heating oil is great enough.

Common symptoms associated with acute (short-term) exposure to heating oil are:

  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Loss of coordination and disorientation

Prolonged or widespread contact with the skin may cause severe irritation, redness and swelling. Chronic (long-term) exposure to heating oil may produce serious health impacts. If symptoms are severe or persist, consult a doctor.

Always avoid touching heating oil with exposed skin or inhaling oil fumes, and keep children, pets and other family members away from areas where they can be exposed to oil fumes.

If you are concerned about the possible health effects of an oil spill, contact our team today for advice on 0800 9174 999 if you are calling from the UK, or 1800 567 999 if you are calling from the Republic of Ireland.  Or alternatively, send us an online enquiry.

Posted in: Hydrocarbons
Published: 9 January 2019