Toxicologist: Dispersants extract the “dangerous cancer-causing chemicals” from crude that “bio-accumulate”; “There is a GRAVE problem”

Monday, August 16, 2010
By Paul Martin
August 16th, 2010

*Smith has been “lead counsel on more than 100 oil pollution cases, which focus primarily on damages caused by oil pollution.”

Attorney Stuart H. Smith, representing the United Commercial
Fishermen’s Association, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network,
public and private entities, and citizens harmed by the BP oil
catastrophe, today issued this statement. Excerpts below:

Independent analysis by toxicologists dispute FDA claims made in the last few days that chemical dispersants used by BP during the oil catastrophe may not accumulate in seafood.

In fact, in a full report by Dr. Bill Sawyer released today, there is a grave problem caused by dispersants, due to the fact that these were used in deep waters and on such a vast scale.

Studies of other spills show that the toxic components of crude oil ‘bio-accumulate’ into the food chain and become highly toxic to marine reproduction and harmful when consumed by humans…

BP’s use of dispersants deep underwater in the Gulf, and on such a vast scale, represents the first time dispersants have been used in this manner. The greatly-reduced biodegradation in the DEEPWATER HORIZON case, resulting from lack of sunlight, extreme cold temperatures at 5000 feet, and other environmental factors significantly reduce the rate at which the dispersed crude components are degraded. …

[W]e can only assume what remains in the Gulf waters will be a ‘toxic soup’ of chemicals for the foreseeable future, due to the worst-case scenario which has unfolded.

The most potentially dangerous of the components in the Gulf’s toxic soup are ‘polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons’ (PAHs), dangerous cancer-causing chemicals… [that] have been extracted from the BP crude and suspended in the water column via dispersant use.

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