Florida Officials: Testing fishing areas for toxic dispersants “a waste of money and resources”


Gulf seafood tested for oil but not dispersant, Palm Beach Post, July 12, 2010:

[N]o one is testing seafood to tell whether it has absorbed the toxic compounds found in the nearly 1.8 million gallons of dispersants BP has poured into the water to break up the oil. ... In Florida, state officials deemed lab tests on open harvesting areas "a waste of money and resources," [Alan Peirce, bureau chief at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Aquaculture] said. ...

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based environmental nonprofit, said it is "irresponsible" for the petroleum industry and the government to use dispersant, which contains heavy metals, arsenic, chromium and copper, with so little understanding of its long-term effects. ...

Beth McGee, a toxicologist and one of the authors of a 2005 National Academy of Sciences report on dispersants, said the researchers never studied human effects. "We hadn't even assumed that we would have a spill that would drag on this long and be using the amount of dispersants that they've used," McGee said. ...

[T]he FDA has not included compounds found in dispersants as part of its lab testing protocol.

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