Public health experts say it’s not a good idea to touch the sticky, dark-colored tar balls you may find in the water or on the beach or land after the recent oil spill. Avoid getting tar or oil on your skin. If you do, wash it off with soap and water or remove it with baby oil or petroleum jelly. You don’t need harsh detergents or solvents. Removing the tar or oil will prevent the chemicals in it from irritating your skin.
This message is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.