GALVESTON — Small red flags dotted the beach in front of the seawall in Galveston on Friday as volunteers marked oil patches and tar balls.  

For the first time since the oil spill, volunteers hit Galveston beaches looking for oil. 

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or


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(9) comments

Andy Aycoth

I need to get my eyes checked . I am having a hard time seeing the tar balls the women are marking with the flags.

Andy Aycoth

I am glad to see people volunteer their time for the clean up. Still some good in this world.

George Croix

I agree with the volunteerism. It's nice of the folks to do so.
Question, though:
Wouldn't it be more time efficient and less costly for the volunteers to just carry a roll of paper towels and some latex gloves and pick up such tiny blobs, plop them into a grocery bag, put the little bags of blobs into a bigger bag, than have THAT bag collected?
Just a thought.
It's not hazardous to human health.

Jim Forsythe

Unfortunately the MSDS sheet list that it may cause cancer and also contains a potential teratogen. They didn’t want lawsuits over cleanup. .It’s only listed as a 1 under Health , but they aren’t willing to take a chance.

Jim Forsythe

Also requires level B , PPE We are talking about Bunker C?

George Croix

Well, shucks...pretty much the same thing applies to charcoal broiled steaks, or changing your own vehicle oil.
If I'd known all this 50 years ago in my beach going days, I could have sued somebody over the tar balls we scraped off our feet regularly....
You know, now that I think about it, I'm feeling a bit queesy, and I highly suspect it may be from getting covered head to toe in resid back some years ago in that little incident that occurred at your and my old B unit (except, that stuff was hot...and on fire...[sad]...)
Jim, here's the bottom line:
A simple, easy, good thing to do that in actuality would pose ZERO danger to anybody can't be done because somebody might be dishonest enough and can find enough attorneys dishonest enough to make a good deed into a lifetime profit making venture....
I think THAT actually qualifies as the greatest 'tragedy' of this incident (and soooo many others)...the actual death of trust and honesty...

Carlos Ponce

[Karankawa Indians] made and used very simple pottery. There was little, if any, decoration on these pots. These pots were often so badly made they would not even hold water very well. So, the Karankawa would use tar like stuff called asphaltum and smear it all over the insides of the pots. Asphaltum washes up on Texas beaches naturally and come from all the offshore oil. Those of you who have been to the beach here in Texas and stepped on a sticky yucky "tar ball" know what I am talking about.
Also Cabeza de Vaca reported that the Karankawa Indians of Galveston would pick up the tar balls off the beach and chew on them like we chew on gum today. Would anyone like a "chaw"?

Jim Forsythe

This is the kind of stuff I had to tell everyone that came to class. Sometimes it was hard to see what the reason was for the rule was. Research
was required sometimes just to understand what the point was. .Remember LOTO when they wanted Operators to place locks on box if they were in area . Lucky you were in the test class to point out why it was not a good idea!
Charcoal broiled steaks have been classed as a possible cancer cause, also your used classed as same. Read MSDS for off, don't get it on your skin.
What have we become.

George Croix

Jim, I decided long ago that the main reason for the incessant writing of dubious value rules is so more rule makers can be hired, somebody could pretend they were 'doing something' about a problem, and/or so more lawsuits can be filed.
It's exactly like that 'mandate' we had there for a short while that emergency procedures had to be reviewed before taking action.
Hello...what's wrong with THAT picture...[sad][wink][smile][beam]

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