Dispersants Cause Gulf Fish to Absorb More Toxins and then Make It Harder for the Fish to Get Rid of the Pollutants Once Exposed
by George Washington
Louisiana State University fish toxicologist Kevin Kleinow has found that the dispersants used in the Gulf increase the amount of toxins the fish absorb and then, once exposed, makes it harder for the fish to get rid of the toxins through normal biological processes.
As LSU reported last week:
Kevin Kleinow, DVM, PhD, is a toxicologist who specializes in environmental health issues, especially those related to fish. This means he studies how contaminants in the environment affect fish and how those interactions may affect other organisms, including humans. With the oil spill in the Gulf, Dr. Kleinow has redirected ongoing work on domestic and industrial surfactant input into aquatic environments to dispersant use with the oil spill. Surfactants, major components of dispersants, are being examined as to how they may affect the uptake and fate of petrochemicals in the fish.
Dr. Kleinow postulated that surfactants discharged in the environment—even at low concentrations—would alter the uptake, excretion, retention, and potential toxicity of other chemicals in the environmental food chain.
Subsequent work in his laboratory … showed that indeed this was true.