Dispersant use contaminates volume of water with up to 1,000 more PAHs — What’s worse? These toxic parts of oil remain longest

Oil spill’s toxic trade-off, Nature.com, November 10, 2010:

Peter Hodson, an aquatic toxicologist from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, presented his case on 9 November at a meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Portland, Oregon…

The problem, explains Hodson, is that the dispersed cloud of microscopic oil droplets allows the PAHs to contaminate a volume of water 100–1,000 times greater than if the oil were confined to a floating surface slick. This hugely increases the exposure of wildlife to the dispersed oil. …

Worse, the toxic constituents of oil hang around longer than other components, another speaker told the meeting. “This idea that there’s an oil biodegradation rate doesn’t hold,” says Ronald Atlas, a microbiologist at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, who has studied the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Alkanes, the simple hydrocarbons that comprise the bulk of oil, are degraded more readily than the PAHs, he points out.

1 comment to Dispersant use contaminates volume of water with up to 1,000 more PAHs — What’s worse? These toxic parts of oil remain longest

  • Oil is toxic and so is the dispersant that was used. We are seeing how bad the combination is when a sample has to be diluted 20 times because the readings are so high (normally diluted once). At least oil is natural- Corexit made it so much worse, all with the protection of GOV Inc.

    There was a summer of poisoning of Americans along the Gulf of Mexico and it continues to spread with contaminated Gulf seafood; it is likely seafood outside the Gulf is contaminated as well, due to Gulf-Stream currents. It is unfathomable to think all is well just a few weeks after such an enormous disaster.

    The Gulf of Mexico was sprayed with a toxic substance than plainly says, “DO NOT CONTAMINATE SURFACE WATER”. It is obvious US government has protected BP but I think there is more to it… it is not just corporate protection. ‘We the People’ are not our government’s number one priority.


    There are many things when considered individually seem explicable or even rational, but when these things are considered collectively, they are entirely suspicious! PLEASE READ and SHARE the FACTS:

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