Friday, June 4, 2010
Hair soaks up oil spills
Hair/Fur As Cheap and Effective Oil Slick Cleanup
With the oil spill Gulf of Mexico threatening the ecology, people worldwide are watching wishing they could help. Perhaps they don't realize just how much they can. Human hair and animal fur can be used to help clean up the oil and stop its spread. That's right - human hair. Hair collects oil. That's why you have to wash it. Just as it collects oil from your skin, it also collects oil from an environmentally threatening oil slick.
After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, a hairdresser in Alabama named Phil McCrory noticed how the photos of the otters showed the water right around them to be cleaner that the surrounding areas. He recognized that their fur had collected the oil out of the water. Hair, after all, has a natural tendency to collect oil. He went to work inventing the hair mat, using human hair clippings and a kiddie pool in his yard. He soon realized that one pound of hair can soak up about one quart of oil, and when formed into a sturdy mat, it can be rung out and reused over a hundred times!