On the basis of 1776 descriptions of water transport accidents involving dangerous goods, environmental problems in connection with releases of this kind are described and discussed. It was found that most detailed descriptions of environmental consequences concerned oil accidents, although most of the consequences were described as reversible changes. It was shown that crude oil releases, on average, are approximately five times larger than releases of oil products and that oil product releases are approximately five times larger than other chemicals. Only 2% of the 1776 accidents described contained information on consequences to living organisms, and only 10% contained any information on consequences to ecosystems. A relationship was found between the minimum kilometers of shore polluted and the tonnes released in the case of shore pollution from oil accidents. Oil slicks were shown to be five times longer than broad. Gravity scales used to describe and evaluate environmental consequences were discussed.
Environmental Management, 1996, Vol 20, Issue 5, p. 753-766