Tons of hair: recommendations contributing to the debate on the use of hair as a co-adjuvant in the Ventanilla crude oil spill clean-up (Lima, Peru)

Keywords: crude oil spill, human hair, Ventanilla, adsorbent


The recent crude oil spill that occurred in Ventanilla, Lima (Peru), on January 15th 2022, has opened up the debate on the potential use of human hair as an oil adsorbent. Recent scientific evidence and practical experiences point to the use of hair on an ad hoc and small scale basis. Peruvian civil society has been mobilized to collect hair in order to contribute to the clean-up following the spill. However, there are no protocols for use capable of preventing some type of environmental damage. It is suggested that prior tests of prototypes made from collected hair be conducted, under the supervision of the appropriate environmental authority.


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