LSU toxicologist finds benzene and xylene in “troubling” concentrations at beach — “A fresh supply of oil” just offshore


BP reneges on deal to rebuild oyster beds, repair wetlands, Louisiana officials say, Times Picayune, February 21, 2011:

"BP a couple of weeks ago said they're now looking to natural processes to finish the degradation of oil," [Department of Wildlife & Fisheries director Robert Barham] said. "But at Elmer's Island refuge, there are new tar balls coming ashore. Apparently, a mat of oil is in the subtidal zone just offshore and now it's coagulating again and creating a fresh supply of oil."

He said that LSU toxicologist Ralph Portier conducted tests on subsurface sand samples from the beach area and found troubling concentrations of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including benzene, xylene and toluene.

"Cleaning the surface did not get rid of them," Barham said of the oil spill response cleanup efforts on the beach. ...

Read the report here.

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