Health & Wellness Blog

    

Ways in Which Future Oil Spill Can Be Prevented

Oil SpillIt is rather unfortunate that oil spills have become a common occurrence in many parts of the planet. The majority of oil spills are accidental, and no one can thus predict precisely how, when, and where they will occur.

Oil spills are just as likely to happen on land or in water, in any kind of weather, and at any time of the day or night. The best strategy to avoid the potential damage to our health and the environment is to develop realistic strategies defining various practical ways in which future oil spills can be prevented.

Having well-defined strategies beforehand is also the only way we can ensure we adopt the best approach to contain and control oil spills after they occur, and be able to mount a rapid response that is well-organized. You will always be able to respond in a quick and coordinated manner if you have prepared adequate response measures well ahead of time.

Oil Spill Prevention and Containment Elements

Although oil spill prevention and containment measures may be implemented differently in many geographical areas and respects, the following 4 major elements should constitute any steps taken to prevent and deal with oil spills:

  • Develop an Effective Contingency Plan: Begin by identifying all possible hazards, analyzing all vulnerabilities thoroughly, and assessing every risk carefully, to come up with pragmatic response methodologies that you can turn to in case of emergency.
     
  • Devise Ways to Enhance the Severity of Punishment and the Likelihood of Detection: The deterrence of those flouting the rules may be enhanced by increasing monitoring actions to make it more likely that offenders will be caught, raising penalties imposed, and passing stringent legislation to assure the probability of obtaining guilty verdicts.
     
  • Revise the Role Insurance Plays: As things currently stand, most of the costs pertaining to oil spills are covered by insurers, thereby reducing the incentive for offenders to be more responsible in preventing spills. This situation can be vastly improved if, for example, insurance policies containing exclusions for rule violations or negligence provide incentives to firms that take extra precautions, hypothetically by shifting only risks that are either due to natural causes or purely accidental to insurers.
     
  • Implement Strict Negligence and Liability Standards: Oil pollution laws are for the most part viewed as liability offenses, meaning there is generally is no use in determining what caused an oil spill to ascertain whether any damages will be awarded. From an economic perspective, making whoever’s responsible strictly liable for all damages and cleanup costs can be efficient for many reasons. Stringent liability standards will provide the impetus for firms to implement better oil spill prevention technologies. On the other hand, negligence standards require that considerable resources be applied in investigating the causes of oil spills, and to provide sufficient proof in court that sufficient care was not undertaken to avoid them.

Whether for oil spill containtment in New Orlreans or oil clean up in Philadelphia, a contingency plan may at first glance appear complicated due to the many details it provides regarding the many necessary steps needed to prevent and counter such disasters.

The steps highlighted above adequately cover many different oil spill scenarios while addressing the various distinct situations that may inevitably arise during or after such an unfortunate event. Regardless of its complexity, the actions stipulated above should be quite easy to implement and follow.

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The Facts on Fats

Fat FactsThis article was furnished by the WIFH in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fats have had a bad reputation in the past, but people are starting to realize that we need them to stay healthy. Fats are one of the major nutrients of the human diet. The other two are carbohydrates and proteins.

Before we get down to the details on fats and how they work in the body, you know that fats and oils are one and the same. The only difference is that oils are liquid at room temperature and fats are solid. Now, let’s move on to the nitty-gritty.

Triglycerides: Simply stated, triglycerides are the chemical form of fats in food and in the body. Think of fat as a building and triglycerides as the bricks that give it shape. These “bricks” consist of 3 fatty acids: saturated, Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (the “tri”), and one glycerol molecule. Thus, the name “tri”-”glyceride”.

Monounsaturated: Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy because they maintain good HDL cholesterol levels while lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels. Oils that are predominantly monounsaturated include olive, avocado, peanut, sesame, lard and duck fat. Monounsaturated oils are generally considered to be the healthiest overall, but it’s important to note that all three types have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Poly unsaturated: Due to their unstable chemical structure, polyunsaturated fatty acids expire more quickly, especially after prolonged contact with oxygen, light or heat. Oils that are predominately polyunsaturated include walnut, grapeseed, soy, corn and fish oils. Never keep these oils beyond their expiration date. If cooking with these oils, use low temperatures. Be sure to refrigerate.

Saturated: Saturated fats are the most stable, giving them a long shelf life and the ability to withstand high cooking temperatures. The are primarily found in animal fats and tropical oils.

Animal Fats: In general, animal fats such as butter and cream are predominantly saturated. It is interesting to note that the fatty acid composition of animal fat can vary depending on the diet of the animal.

Trans Fats: The Very Worst Kind: Trans fatty acids are chemically altered, man-made fats found in partially hydrogenated oils. The hydrogenation process, in common use since the early 20th century, injects hydrogen into vegetable fats under high heat pressure. This saturates what was previously an unsaturated fat and results in a chemical configuration that is not found in nature and is very rich in trans fatty acids. Very small amounts of trans fats do occur naturally in some products such as milk, cheese, beef or lamb.

Trans fats are doubly harmful because they lower HDL (good) cholesterol and raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fatty acids have an even worse impact on cholesterol levels than diets high in butter, which contain saturated fats. A 2002 report by the Institute of Medicine concluded that trans fats are not safe to consume in any amount.

The Trans Fat Labeling Law: Effective since January 1, 2006, all products that have a Nutrition Facts Panel must declare the amount of trans fat per serving. This has forced many conventional food manufacturers to reduce or eliminate trans fats from their products. But trans fat still has a significant presence in restaurants and with other food vendors who are not affected by the labeling law. Packaged products that may still contain significant amounts of trans fats include: margarine, shortening, baked goods (pastries, pies, cookies, doughnuts), breakfast cereals, fried foods, crackers and snack foods such as potato chips.

Simply put not all fats are bad and contrary to popular belief they don’t actually make you fat. What packs on the pounds is CALORIES, consuming too many and making the wrong choices when it comes to fats and carbohydrates.

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