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In marine water the most serious pollutant is oil, particularly when afloat on sea. An spill in oil or petroleum product due to accidents or a deliberate discharge of oil polluted waste brings about pollution. About 285 million gallons of oil are spilled each year into ocean, mostly from transport tankers. Oil pollution causes damage to marine fauna and flora including algae, fish, birds, invertebrates. About 50,000 to 250,000 birds are killed every year by oil. The oil is soaked in feathers, displacing the air and thus interferes with buoyancy and maintenance of body temperature. Hydrocarbons and benzpyrene accumulate in food chain and consumption of fish by man may cause cancer.
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