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Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Aug 15;45(16):6709-15. doi: 10.1021/es2013227. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Oil biodegradation and bioremediation: a tale of the two worst spills in U.S. history.

Author information

1
University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA. r.atlas@louisville.edu

Abstract

The devastating environmental impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and its media notoriety made it a frequent comparison to the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the popular press in 2010, even though the nature of the two spills and the environments impacted were vastly different. Fortunately, unlike higher organisms that are adversely impacted by oil spills, microorganisms are able to consume petroleum hydrocarbons. These oil degrading indigenous microorganisms played a significant role in reducing the overall environmental impact of both the Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon oil spills.

PMID:
21699212
PMCID:
PMC3155281
DOI:
10.1021/es2013227
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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