November 30, 2021

Study Confirms Oil from Deepwater Horizon Disaster Entered Food Chain

A new study has confirmed that oil from the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster has entered the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico. The study was led by East Carolina University along with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Food Poisoning Bulletin reported more than two months ago that senators from the Gulf states wanted the FDA to stress that food from the Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat. Consumers groups questioned that determination for several reasons, including the amount of seafood consumed by the groups studied.

The well was capped on July 15, 2010, three months after the explosion. Oil from every well has a unique “fingerprint”. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens, present in the oil were used to match the oil to the Macondo well.

The researchers found that zooplankton in the Gulf had accumulated toxic compounds from the Macondo well that exploded. Zooplankton serves as food for baby fish and shrimp.

The accumulation continued even after the well was capped. Oil gushed into the Gulf at a rate of 53,000 barrels a day.

Dr. Michael Roman, from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, said that in all likelihood the oil compounds may be working their way up the food chain.

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