SURFRIDER FOUNDATION RELEASES FINDINGS OF GULF OIL DISASTER STUDY
April 16 2012
Results Show Continued High Toxin Concentrations In Tar Product Found On Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi Beaches
- The data collected confirms that Corexit dispersant mixed with crude oil creates a discernible fluorescent signature when illuminated by 370nm wavelength (UV) light.
- The use of Corexit as a dispersant has inhibited the microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in the crude oil and has allowed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) concentration levels to consistently exhibit high toxicity levels in excess of the carcinogenic exposure level specified by NIH and OSHA.
- Of the 32 sampling sites, mainly in Florida and Alabama, 26 had PAH concentration levels exceeding the established carcinogenic exposure limits. In only three locations, samples were found to be free of PAH contamination.
- Seventy-one samples were collected. Twenty-three were tested for oil range organics and 16 exceeded the target clean up levels specified by the EPA. Of the 48 samples submitted for PAH tests, 90% of the samples had contamination levels in excess of the carcinogenic exposure limit.
- Tar product remaining in the coastal zone contains PAH levels likely to be toxic (levels > 80mg/kg). Wet skin dermal contact and absorption of tar product was documented. This unknown risk for human health and safety should be further studied.
- Carcinogenic PAH compounds from the toxic tar product that concentrates in surface layers from natural beach processes was found to be leaching into the lower layers of beach sediment. One researcher’s published scientific results concluded this could lead to the contamination of local groundwater sources.