OSU Researchers find heightened levels of known carcinogens in Gulf, Oregon State University website, September 30, 2010:
Oregon State University researchers began testing for the contaminant May 9, and preliminary results, which have not yet been fully analyzed, suggest that the level of PAHs in the water off the coast of Louisiana experienced a 40-fold increase from May to June. The July data was lost when the device the OSU team uses for water sampling disappeared.
However, an initial analysis of the August data continues to show abnormally high levels of PAHs, similar to the 40-fold increase discovered earlier in the summer, said Kim Anderson, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.
"We were able to deploy sampling devices prior to the contamination of the areas we are observing," said Anderson, "In doing so we were able to establish a baseline, and to then monitor concentrations of the PAHs from there." ...
"There are a range of health effects associated with PAHs," said Anderson. "They are toxic by several different modes of action. We're now using a technique that looks at the fraction of PAHs that are bioavailable – that have the potential to move into the food chain."
Anderson and her team are collecting samples from both the water and air along about 400 miles of the Gulf coastline. They are using passive sampling devices that Anderson originally developed as part of OSU's Superfund Research Program funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).