Petrol extraction in the Arabian Gulf is related to health in several different ways. Specifically, current extraction practices and extraction-related events in the past have had negative health effects for local populations. In addition, many of the workers in the extraction industry are exposed to significant health risks.
First, oil drilling in Arabian Gulf states has led to several different types of pollution, including air pollution, ground pollution, and water pollution. In particular, oil fires have had negative effects on the atmosphere, as they release high levels of carbon dioxide, which can damage people’s lungs and cause a variety of respiratory problems, including lung cancer. Birth defects have also been noted among individuals who have been exposed to air pollution as a result of the burning of oil. This was especially true in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, a conflict that was largely related to conflicts over drilling rights, in which hundreds of oil wells in Kuwait were set on fire.
The drilling industry has also impacted human health by lowering the amount of available safe drinking water in the Arab Gulf states. Oil spills have contaminated seawater that is desalinated for drinking water, and it has also contaminated the region’s limited groundwater supplies. While some wealthy residents are able to seek fresh water elsewhere, individuals in rural areas have no alternatives to contaminated groundwater.
Petrol extraction also poses serious health risks for some of the unskilled laborers who work in the industry. Typically, these laborers work for long hours under conditions that are both physically and mentally taxing, which has led to high rates of on-the-job accidents, as well as mental health issues. Moreover, these workers lack access to health care, which means that often, their illnesses and injuries go untreated. Work in the petrol industry in the Arabian Gulf has also been associated with sexual abuse and physical violence, which also pose serious mental and physical health risks.
To summarize, petrol extraction in the Arabian Gulf tends to foster negative health outcomes. Effects are evident when examining health outcomes for both laborers and residents of the region.