OSU Researchers find heightened levels of known carcinogens in Gulf, Oregon State University website, September 30, 2010:
OPAHs [oxygen-containing derivatives of PAHs] are of great concern along the Gulf Coast because they are more mobile, persistent in the environment and likely bioavailable. They form when PAHs react to sunlight and degrade in the atmosphere. Recently, OPAHs have been shown to form and accumulate after the biological remediation of PAH contaminated soils, and it is hypothesized that the same will be true in water, said Anderson.
The use of chemical dispersants during the oil spill coupled with the ultraviolet exposure in the Gulf may have increased the formation of OPAHs beyond expected levels.
For more information on the recently published research by Oregon State University researchers, see: Researchers find up to “40-fold increase” of “toxic” PAHs while sampling air and water along 400 miles of Gulf — Entire month of data lost after device “disappeared”