Palm Oil 'Fatbergs' as Big as Boulders Washing Up on UK Beaches
Palm oil is already known to be an environmental blight and now we can add another item to its rap sheet. The much-maligned substance is surfacing on beaches in the UK in forms of congealed blobs known as "fatbergs," posing a threat to children and especially pet dogs who might accidentally ingest it, according to British media.
Beach clean after white substance, palm oil spotted on beaches #Adur #Worthing #Brighton, harmful to dogs #HeartNews https://t.co/icOX9vf36o— Sussex News (@Sussex News)1459934921.0
Storms that originated in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad are being blamed for pushing the marine pollution across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the issue seems to be a regular occurrence in the UK's coastal regions. Other British counties such as Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall have seen the waxy substance on their shores before.
This tweet from 2014 shows a huge palm oil deposit found on a beach in the village of Rottingdean in East Sussex. The rucksack placed next to it shows its scale.
Dog owners at Rottingdean take care. Deposits of palm oil on beach. Can be harmful to dogs. #rottingdean #palmoil http://t.co/TgDz1HKIvp— Words (@Words)1392483826.0
A community Facebook page has even been launched to track and map the palm oil blobs that wash ashore in Cornwall and the southwest region of England.
"Laboratory testing has shown that this substance is a non-toxic, degraded edible oil or fat. However, there have been reports of dogs becoming seriously ill after ingesting the substance. Some dogs that have consumed small quantities of palm oil have suffered from vomiting and diarrhorea, which has led to severe dehydration. Some dogs that have eaten larger amounts of the substance have suffered a range of effects including kidney damage, liver failure and blockages of the gut. In some instances this has resulted in the dog needing to be put down."
So not only does palm oil kill orangutans but also dogs! Watch out anyone walking dogs in Cornwall http://t.co/Bvzt9S7mU0 #palmoil #cornwall— Khumbu (@Khumbu)1392744733.0
The council noted that palm oil can enter the marine environment when it is legally discarded by ships at sea where it can become further contaminated with other oceanic waste.
"So, if you’re heading to the beach please take care—while the substance has been described as non-toxic, given the reports about dogs becoming ill, we’d suggest keeping children and pets away from the deposits. And if you come into contact with the substance, wash it off with soap or shower gel and wash your clothes."
The Mirror reported that an animal hospital in Cornwall had to give "life-saving treatment" to five dogs after they swallowed palm oil in the area's beaches.
Any woofs going walks suffolk beaches be careful of yellow bits on beach,is palm oil,been lots here http://t.co/oQQjOpYvxv— Hetty Bear (@Hetty Bear)1381424052.0
British television veterinarian Marc Abraham told Mail Online that the bits are a particular threat to dogs because "palm oil is so gelatinous it can get lodged in the oesophagus and require emergency surgery."
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman told The Mirror that an area cleanup is underway and warning signs have been displayed to alert dog walkers of potential exposure.
"Our seafront and cleansing teams are working together to spot and dispose of the palm oil and have put up temporary signs alerting dog walkers to the possible danger," he said.
#Brightoncouncil warns dog owners to keep pets away from tonnes of Palm oil washed up on the beach @bbcsoutheast https://t.co/H8h5on6Jo0— Ian Palmer (@Ian Palmer)1459958825.0
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
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Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>