“Conservative estimates indicate that the 2010 BP oil disaster released over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, followed by at least 1.8 million gallons of dispersants. While the use of dispersants helped mitigate the public relations disaster by preventing the persistent formation of surface oil, as well as keeping many beaches visibly untouched, they also drove the oil deeper into the water column (and food chain) rendering a 2-dimensional problem (surface oil) into a 3-dimensional one. Additionally, research indicates that dispersants prevent the biodegradation of toxic oil components, as well as increasing dispersant absorption into fish from between 6 to 1100 fold higher levels.
“Since the event, both the mainstream media and the government have acted as if the oil disappeared, and that no significant health risks remain for the millions still consuming contaminated seafood from the Gulf.
“Now, a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has revealed that the 2010 BP Gulf oil disaster resulted in widespread contamination of Gulf Coast seafood with toxic components from crude oil.1 In fact, levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in shrimp were found to exceed the FDA’s established thresholds for allowable levels [levels of concern (LOCs)] for pregnant women in up to 53% of Gulf shrimp sampled. …
“The FDA’s risk assessment was found to be seriously flawed …”
“Taken together, these flaws illustrate a failure to incorporate the substantial body of evidence on the increased vulnerability of subpopulations to contaminants, such as PAHs, in seafood.
“Their final conclusion was as follows:
“Environmental risk assessment requires the use of scientifically founded assumptions and appropriate default estimates about the exposed population, the intensity and duration of exposure, and the dose–response relationship. The risk assessment methods used by the FDA to set safe exposure levels for Gulf Coast seafood after the oil spill do not incorporate current best practices and do not protect vulnerable populations. The FDA’s conclusions about risks from Gulf seafood should be interpreted with caution in coastal populations with higher rates of seafood consumption and in vulnerable populations such as children, small adults, and pregnant women. Our analysis demonstrates that a revised approach, using standard risk assessment methods, results in significantly lower acceptable levels of PAHs in seafood and identifies populations that could be at risk from contaminants in Gulf Coast seafood. …”