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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 May 15;46(10):5310-8. doi: 10.1021/es2042433. Epub 2012 May 2.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Mississippi seafood from areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

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Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, Virginia 24060, United States.


Seafood samples from the fishing ground closure areas of Mississippi Gulf Coast that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster were collected and analyzed for twenty-five 2- to 6-ring PAHs, about one month after the first day of incident. A total of 278 seafood samples consisting of 86 fishes, 65 shrimps, 59 crabs, and 68 oysters were collected and analyzed weekly from May 27, 2010 until October 2010 and monthly thereafter until August 2011. Statistically higher levels of total PAHs were detected in all four types of seafood samples during early part of the sampling period compared to the later months. There was no significant concentration difference between PAHs detected in the oyster samples for the current study and the 10-year historical data from the NOAA Mussel Watch program. The PAH levels in the tested seafood samples were similar to those detected in commonly consumed processed foods purchased from local grocery stores and restaurants. Overall, the levels of PAHs in all the tested seafood samples collected within one-year period after the Oil Spill incident were far below the public health Levels of Concern (LOC) established jointly by the NOAA/FDA/Gulf Coast states under the protocol to reopen state and federal waters.

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