No Hair Boom for Oil Spill Response

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Unified Area Command for the Deepwater Horizon/BP Response announced it will not use hair boom in its response efforts. While this suggestion was submitted to BP as an alternative method for containing and recovering the oil spill, it was not deemed feasible after a technical evaluation.

In a February 2010 side-by-side field test conducted during an oil spill in Texas, commercial sorbent boom absorbed more oil and much less water than hair boom, making it the better operational choice.

“Our priority when cleaning up an oil spill is to find the most efficient and expedient way to remove the oil from the affected area while causing no additional damage.  One problem with the hair boom is that it became water-logged and sank within a short period of time,” said Charlie Henry, NOAA’s Scientific Support Coordinator in Robert, La.

Commercial sorbent boom is readily available and scientifically designed and tested for oil containment and absorption on the water.  Additionally, response teams are familiar with and properly trained to safely deploy, maintain, recover, and dispose commercial sorbent boom.

Individuals and organizations are asked to discontinue the collection of hair for the hair boom. 

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