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Recession Cuts Operation That Uses Hair To Clean Up Oil 119

Matter of Trust, a nonprofit that uses human hair scraps to make mats to clean up oil spills, finds itself with 18,000 pounds of hair and nobody to process it. Lisa Gautier, who runs the organization, says that the recession has closed many of the textile makers that produced the mats and the warehouse that stored them. Unfortunately for Lisa the hair keeps piling up. From the article: "Hair is good at soaking up oil because, up close, the strands are shaped like a palm tree with scalelike cuticles. Drops of oil naturally cling inside those cuticles, says Blair Blacker, chief executive of the World Response Group. A pound of hair can pick up one quart of oil in a minute, and it can be wrung out and reused up to 100 times, Mrs. Gautier says."


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Recession Cuts Operation That Uses Hair To Clean Up Oil

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  • Old article (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:59PM (#32114222)

    The article is from last year. I fould a later article that actually has information relevant to the recent oil spill here:

    The actual organization's website, which Slashdot fails to link to, is at

  • Re:EEeesshh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Stenchwarrior ( 1335051 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:17PM (#32114618)
    Off topic, but that's why cyclists shave their legs. Not because of aerodynamic advantage (like with swimmers) but because when they crash (not if) it reduces their chance for infection in the road rash.
  • Re:BP? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:20PM (#32114676)

    Who would want to work for BP? They're non-profit

    Uh, no, they're not. BP is a British limited liability corporation, with stock sold on both the London and New York stock exchanges. Their 2009 annual report states that they made a profit of over $16.5 billion last year.

  • Ummm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by denmarkw00t ( 892627 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:28PM (#32114864) Homepage Journal

    I just listened to a story on NPR with one of the head guys from Matter of Trust, and he mentioned nothing to this effect. In fact, he said there are warehouses all over the country helping store this, they use used stockings for the packaging, and from the sound if there are about 450,000 lbs of hair headed to the Gulf Coast right now. So who's right here? The guy on the radio sounded pretty calm, if not even stoked, about this whole thing, but TFA seems to say that Matter of Trust has no one and no way to help.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nick Number ( 447026 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:37PM (#32114978) Homepage Journal

    Given that TFA is from last August, I'd guess they worked out the problem and that the NPR story is accurate.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain