Donated hair for the oil spill cleanup? It may not get used…

Looking for an opportunity to contribute to cleanup efforts for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? The opportunity may be as close as your barber or stylist’s chair, or your pet groomer’s table. Non-profit organization Matter of Trust has done a tremendous job coordinating human and animal hair collection efforts for use in booms and mats that could help with soaking up spilled oil.

Matter of Trust is no newcomer to this kind of effort: they collect hair regularly for this kind of use. In the case of the Gulf spill, however, the big players are being coy on whether they’ll actually use the booms and mats created from this hair.

The Panama City, Florida News Herald, for instance, notes that NOAA has never tested “…the effectiveness of human hair as an absorbent,” and that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection isn’t crazy about using the booms (“…because no one yet knows what form the oil will take if it reaches the state’s beaches.”). Oil giant BP is waiting for a Coast Guard ruling, according to the Dallas Morning News; so far, neither the Coast Guard, nor the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command make any mention of this low-tech option on their web sites.

The video above would seem to demonstrate that hair does soak up the oil… so why the reticence? And why not let Americans eager to help know what they can do that will definitely contribute to cleanup efforts?

What are you doing to contribute to cleanup efforts? Let us know…