Now Accepting Apple Pay

Apple Pay is the easiest and most secure way to pay on StudyMoose in Safari.

3 Chemical Contaminants from Sea Based Sources

Categories: Oil SpillSea

Chemical Contaminants from Sea-based Sources

There are various sea-based sources from which chemical substance substances may contaminate the marine environment; those are- shipping, mariculture, offshore oil, and gas production, seabed mining, dredging of sediments, dumping of dredged material and so on.


More or less 89 chemical substances are released from shipping activities into the ocean (Tornero and Hanke 2016). Accidental oil spill in the water happens vigorously as the production and consumption rate are high. Crude oil consists numerous chemical; among them hydrocarbon compounds produce the greatest toxic condition in the environment.

Other compounds consist of hexane, heptanes, octane, nonane, benzene, toluene, esters, acids, ketones, phenols, iron, nickel, chromium etc.

Again, waterway is the main way of transporting Hazardous and Noxious Substance (benzene, sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, and styrene); which if released to environment may cause severe health effects. Almost 2000 different chemicals are used by human are regularly transported by sea (Tornero and Hanke 2016).

 Operational Discharge

It includes discharge of bilge water from ship, fuel tanks.

Get quality help now
Verified writer

Proficient in: Oil Spill

4.7 (348)

“ Amazing as always, gave her a week to finish a big assignment and came through way ahead of time. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

A number of measures have been taken so far to reduce the intended and routine spill. Crude oil washing is mandatory for some vessels but ultimately they pollute marine environment endangering marine biota. This is one of the biggest sources of putting oily wastes, detergents, cleaners, lubricants, chemicals from refrigerators- fire extinguisher into the marine environment.


Decommission of offshore oil and gas stations consist of reprocessing and removal of materials, chemicals, dismantling or partial removal of material. In time of abandoning or remobilizing structure- that can lead to serious deteriorate of the environment and release of contaminants.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Check writers' offers

You won’t be charged yet!

Accidental Spills

Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 represent one of the greatest threats to marine and coastal environments from offshore activities. Using chemical dispersant to tackle oil spill is sort of releasing another source of pollutants in the marine environment. In that particular event almost 2 million gallons of dispersant were used to disperse crude oil. The application also led to short term toxicity to aquatic environment. In 2012, the spillages of minor accidents crossed 1205 tons only in Europe.

Air Pollution

Exhaust emission from the vessel (NO2, SO2, and CO2) pollute air and also contribute to ocean acidification. As these gases are out in the atmosphere, they also reach marine environment and make the ocean acidic and also cause global warming.


Aqua culture or Mariculture may have some effects on the surrounding environment. Farmers use pesticides, antibiotics, parasiticides, anesthetics to control disease, pest attack which is actually chemicals. Researcher found out 66 potential chemical releases from these sectors. These chemicals can affect son target organism as well. The antibiotics (oxytetracycline, oxolinic acid and flumequine) can persist in water or sediment; and after some time they can lead to contamination of indigenous and non-target organisms. On top of that, these organisms and fish may pass their disease resilient gene to human or animals. Some antibiotic can even pass to human body and cause severe health risk such as bone marrow depression (Tornero and Hanke 2016). Formalin and iodophores are used as disinfecting agent aquaculture in Europe. But they can contain some formula posing health risk to human that are not labeled.

 Dredging and Dumping of Materials

These are the most habitual and usual tendency of human which accord the input of sea sourced substances. Though dredging operation is a necessary for maintaining ports and harbors; it re-suspense the bottom sediments which lead to large scale increase in water pollutant level. In some places, dumping dredged materials are regulated by different conventions. Again, dumping includes sewage sludge, fish wastes, vessels and platforms, inert, inorganic geological material (such as mining wastes), organic material of natural origin, and bulky items (primarily comprising iron, steel and concrete); which is consider as threat to marine biota.

 Offshore Energy Generation

To withstand with climate change, ocean acidification, energy security- it led to exploration and development of new and renewable sources of energy generation from the ocean. Apart from increasing noise level and risk of collision with marine animals; pollution by chemicals rise as a problem because of vessel trafficking, maintenance, spillage of lubricants and hydraulic oil and so on.


There are thousands of sunken ships and vessels across the ocean. Most of them deteriorating, the metals are corroding and thus releasing their contents in the ocean. The most polluting wrecks worldwide are estimated to be in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean; they may contain a huge amount of oil in the sunken vessels. It is not limited to oils only, it contains arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, mercury, and zinc, PCBs, asbestos, biocides, PVC, and even radioactive wastes (Tornero and Hanke 2016).

 Seabed Mining

There is an abundance of minerals in the sea bed. It includes cobalt, zinc, and copper and so on. These can ensure security supply and fill a gap the market supply. Deep sea mining generally takes place in the international seabed. That is why no national regulation are formulated in here. So, these mining have increased rapidly and commercial exploitation will be full on. Certain types of rare earth element are available in sea bed; such as seafloor massive sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, bismuth, cadmium, gallium, germanium, antimony, tellurium, thallium, and indium (Tornero and Hanke 2016). They are sometimes drilled through ocean drilling. These sorts of activities create environment concern- hydraulic fluid leak, fuel, chemical and oil spillage, release of metal and so many more.


Fracking is a process of extracting oil or gas from rock or borehole by forcefully injecting liquid at a high pressure into it. Thus, offshore fracking associates with blasting water and industrial chemicals into seafloor in order to opening rocks to extract oil or gas. Toxic fracking threatens the marine life. For example, in California, it already threatened numeral species such as blue whales, sea otters and so on (CBD 2014). Because oil companies in that region are permitted to dump 9 billion gallons of wastewater, fracking chemicals into the ocean each year. The hazardous pollutants released in the air trigger adverse health condition of the coastal people, even can cause cancer; also put a negative impact in climate. Various unique environmental problems raise due to fracking and as per some experts it also turmoil seismic stability.

In California, injecting fracking waste water underground increases the risk of earthquake as the injecting wells are near fault lines (CBD 2014).

Some of the fracking chemicals are Nonylphenol, Phenol formaldehyde resins, Boron Compounds, Crystalline Silica Quartz, Glyoxal, Methanol, Monoethanolamine (CBD 2014). These chemicals can alter sex ratio in the population level, harms development, growth, cause cancer, mutation and increase toxicity in the water and so on.

Conclusion and Recommendation

As the world’s population is increasing; the pressure on ecosystem and resources are also amplifying. The reservoir; be that atmospheric or oceanic are also suffering to a great extent as they work as a sink. Oceans are facing great threat due to the anthropogenic waste and unawareness. As said earlier, oceans work as a biological pump to the whole world. So, proper management is a dire need to save ocean and its ecosystem and biodiversity. For example, some measures should be taken to be free from the lethal consequences (Baztan et al. 2014).

  •  Implementation of protocols, directives and laws. For example, Nairobi International Convention of 2007 provides a harmonized legal framework for dealing with the issues of removal of wrecking.
  • Reduce industrial and domestic use of plastic.
  • Increase awareness of plastic pollution hazards.
  • Recycling.
  • Develop collective and collaborative action between stakeholders.
  • Reuse of stranded material
  • Awareness in both national and international level.
  • Technical innovation.
  • Political authorities should formulate guidelines with the help of scientists; and be responsible for any mismanagement.
  • Using chemical dispersant in a response to oil spill.
  • Waste landfills must be located and designed in such way that does not contaminate with air, water, ground.
  • Use waste as energy and raw material resource.
  • Qualified dismantling workers should be hired during shipbreaking. Special cloths and tools should be used.
  • Using fire to cut the pipes should be prohibited, especially for the engine room of ships; as different hazardous material and chemical might be there.
  • Establishing a special green recycling reserve account for every ship.
  • Establish marine parks to protect biodiversity.
  • Reduce destructive fishing practices such as trawling.
  • Minimize the use of military sonar that can harm or kill whales and other marine mammals.
  • Help fishermen to maintain their livelihoods by incorporating conservation efforts.
  • Install measures to reduce the amount of fish caught accidentally.


  • Allsopp, M., Walters, A., Santillo, D. and Johnston, P., 2006. Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans. Greenpeace. International, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Avio, C.G., Gorbi, S. and Regoli, F., 2017. Plastics and microplastics in the oceans: From emerging pollutants to emerged threat. Marine environmental research, 128, pp.2-11.
  • Baztan, J., Carrasco, A., Chouinard, O., Cleaud, M., Gabaldon, J.E., Huck, T., Jaffr?s, L., Jorgensen, B., Miguelez, A., Paillard, C. and Vanderlinden, J.P., 2014. Protected areas in the Atlantic facing the hazards of micro-plastic pollution: First diagnosis of three islands in the Canary Current. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 80(1-2), pp.302-311.
  • Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD), 2014. Troubled Waters: Offshore Fracking’s Threat to California’s Ocean, Air and Seismic Stability.
  • Clapp, J., 1994. Africa, NGOs, and the international toxic waste trade. The Journal of Environment & Development, 3(2), pp.17-46.
  • Coll, M., Piroddi, C., Albouy, C., Ben Rais Lasram, F., Cheung, W.W., Christensen, V., Karpouzi, V.S., Guilhaumon, F., Mouillot, D., Paleczny, M. and Palomares, M.L., 2012. The Mediterranean Sea under siege: spatial overlap between marine biodiversity, cumulative threats and marine reserves. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21(4), pp.465-480.
  • Depledge, M.H., Harvey, A.J., Brownlee, C., Frost, M., Moore, M.N. and Fleming, L.E., 2013. Changing views of the interconnections between the Oceans and Human Health in Europe. Microbial ecology, 65(4), pp.852-859.
  • D?az, S., Fargione, J., Chapin III, F.S. and Tilman, D., 2006. Biodiversity loss threatens human well-being. PLoS biology, 4(8), p.e277.
  • Du, Z., Zhang, S., Zhou, Q., Yuen, K.F. and Wong, Y.D., 2018. Hazardous materials analysis and disposal procedures during ship recycling. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 131, pp.158-171.
  • Gall, S.C. and Thompson, R.C., 2015. The impact of debris on marine life. Marine pollution bulletin, 92(1-2), pp.170-179.
  • Mega, V.P., 2019. Threatened Urban and Ocean Biodiversity: The Imperative of Resilience. In Eco-Responsible Cities and the Global Ocean (pp. 43-84). Springer, Cham.
  • Pawar, P.R., Shirgaonkar, S.S. and Patil, R.B., 2016. Plastic marine debris: Sources, distribution and impacts on coastal and ocean biodiversity. PENCIL Publication of Biological Sciences, 3(1), pp.40-54.
  • Thompson, R.C., 2013. Classify plastic waste as hazardous. Nature.
  • Tornero, V. and Hanke, G., 2016. Identification of marine chemical contaminants released from sea-based sources. Luxembourg.
  • Van Hook, R.I., 1978. Transport and transportation pathways of hazardous chemicals from solid waste disposal. Environmental health perspectives, 27, pp.295-308.
  • Wilcox, C., Van Sebille, E. and Hardesty, B.D., 2015. Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(38), pp.11899-11904.

Cite this page

3 Chemical Contaminants from Sea Based Sources. (2019, Nov 30). Retrieved from

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment