USF study finds beaches essentially cleaned of oil, Craig Pittman for the St. Petersburg Times, March 2, 2011:
The machines actually dug up the sand and shook it through a sieve, straining out the tarballs but mixing together the remaining contaminated and uncontaminated sand, [geologist Ping Wang] said.
As a result, [researcher Rip] Kirby said, "the sand is a shade darker." But only longtime Florida beachgoers are likely to notice the difference.
"Is it perfect like it was on April 19, before the spill started? No, it's not," Kirby said. "It will take time for bacteria to eat" the remaining microscopic oil particles — perhaps as long as five years.
In the meantime, he said, the possibility of toxic effects from those microscopic particles is fairly remote. "You probably get more exposure filling up your gas tank than sitting on a beach," he said.
Read the Times' report here.
So how safe is filling up your gas tank?
Gas Stations are Toxic Neighbors, Discovery, February 7, 2011:
Researchers in Spain found that gas fumes contaminate the air up to 100 meters, or 328 feet, away with potential health hazards. ...
The researchers from the University of Murcia measured the levels of two common gasoline related pollutants, benzene and hexane, in the area around the stations. They then compared these levels to the contamination caused by normal automobile traffic, and found higher levels in areas around gas stations.