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Deepwater Horizon contamination still lingers according to new research

For the first time the remnants of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that still linger in the Gulf of Mexico have been identified by scientists from EPFL in Switzerland and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the United States that were published in the Jan. 22, 2014, issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Infographic accompanying the article.
EPFL/ Pascal Coderay

The eight samples studied were collected from April until November in 2011 and maintained in pristine conditions that simulate the ocean environment in the Gulf Coast of the United States where remnants of the oil spill still exist.

The researchers found that the average composition of the samples contained 26 percent saturated hydrocarbons, 66 percent oxygenated hydrocarbons, and seven percent aromatic hydrocarbons.

All of these residues from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are known to produce detrimental effects to ocean life and to humans.

The time frame from the spill event and the examination of four-year-old samples indicates that persistent contamination from the oil spill still exists in the waters of the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Despite numerous commercials funded by BP about the safety and quality of Gulf Coast seafood and the support of all the states effected by the oil spill one cannot help but wonder what the long-term effects of this pollution will be on ocean life and on the people that consume seafood that is presumed to be safe.

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