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Radio Station KBOO Fights the Gulf Oil Disaster with Hair and Pantyhose

I’m pleased to see that on Monday, June 7th, Portland, Oregon community radio station KBOO will devote its daytime programming to an examination of the Gulf oil disaster.

Tune in from 8am to 6pm Pacific time for their “Stop the Oil, Save the Gulf” special to hear discussions about how the oil disaster happened and find out how to help in the efforts to clean up the spill and prevent future incidents like this.

Starting at 12 noon on Monday, Jacob Anderson-Minshall will moderate a “discussion on ‘hair mats’, bioremediation, and other tried and true methods of cleanup.” KBOO is also embracing the hair mat solution for oil spill cleanups by offering free hair cuts at their station from 9am to 5pm on Monday. Hair will then be donated to the Gulf cleanup effort and will be used to make hair mats used to clean up oil spills. One such product, OttiMat, has been used by volunteers to clean up oil after a spills in various locations, including San Francisco. According to OttiMat’s website:

“The Ottimat was invented by Phil McCory, a hair stylist in Huntsville, Alabama. While watching television coverage of the 1989 Valdez oil spill, McCory noticed the difficulty volunteers were having cleaning the fur of otters. McCory thought, ‘ if animal fur can trap and hold spilled oil, why can’t human hair?’ In a home experiment, McCory stuffed 5 pounds of hair he’d cut into a pair of his wife’s pantyhose. He tied the ankles of the nylons together to form a ring shaped collection bundle. Then, filling his son’s baby pool with water, he poured a gallon of used motor oil in the pool and then dunked the pantyhose. Two minutes later he pulled out the nylons and noticed the water was crystal clear. Not a trace of oil was left in the water, said McCory.”

In addition to collecting hair donations, KBOO is also asking for people to bring in pantyhose, which will be contributed along with the hair in order to make hair mats. According to KBOO:

“We are working with Common Ground Relief’s Meg Perry Bioremediation Center, in conjunction with A Matter of Trust – when they receive the donations in New Orleans, they will construct the hair booms and hair mats, and then trained volunteers will deploy them in impacted areas on the Gulf Coast – with or without BP’s permission.”

This is a fascinating grassroots effort to help clean up this horrific disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and KBOO’s day of special programming on Monday is sure to be enlightening.

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2 Responses to Radio Station KBOO Fights the Gulf Oil Disaster with Hair and Pantyhose

  1. Lanajean June 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    I will be contributing all the extra pantyhose I have to this effort. I am so happy to hear that these can be put to a good use to save the environment. God Bless the Volunteers that are helping in this grassroots effort.

  2. KBOO Development June 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    you can also watch the hair cutting at

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