Navigation Links
Marine chemist says 'not so fast' to quick oil detection method
Date:5/28/2008

A new method for assessing environmental contamination after oil spills is in danger of being applied in situations where it doesn't work and might produce false conclusions, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has warned.

Private firms and government agencies have recently started using long strands of absorbent polypropylene snares, also called pom-poms, as a means to check for contamination of the seafloor in the wake of an oil spill. The method is becoming popular because it is rapid and low-cost.

But according to WHOI marine chemist Christopher Reddy, the approach may give a false sense of security. In a recently published letter to the Marine Pollution Bulletin, Reddy notes that while the pom-pom method is effective in locating areas where excessive amounts of oil have sunk to the bottom, it does not necessarily identify the fractions and compounds of oil that can linger in sediments and have long-term impacts on ecosystems and public health.

Following a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River, emergency response crews employed the new pom-pom method to quickly determine the locations of large oil patches on the river floor. The information was invaluable for the emergency response and cleanup.

After the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay in November 2007, the pom-pom method was used again. But this time, the goal was to determine if sediments near the Port of Oakland were safe to be dredged and re-used in restoration projects.

This approach is flawed, Reddy wrote. It relies on the assumption that the lack of visible oil on the snaresindicates a total lack of oil contamination in the sedimentWhile testing of sediments with snares delivers rapid, low-cost data, it is only an indicator of gross contamination.

Before this approach becomes standard practice for determining whether sediments have been contaminated at levels that may impact ecosystems, Reddy added, prudence dictates much more rigorous testing of the test itself.


'/>"/>

Contact: Media Relations
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists reveal the lifestyle evolution of wild marine bacteria
2. New whale detection buoys will help ships take the right way through marine habitat
3. Arctic marine mammals on thin ice
4. Researchers to develop ocean sanctuary noise budget to evaluate potential impact on marine mammals
5. Pew Institute teams with Chantecaille Cosmetics to protect global marine life
6. Marine bacterias mealtime dash is a swimming success
7. International team announces discovery of massive Jurassic marine reptile
8. Can Dungeness crab and eelgrass help improve management of our marine resources?
9. Genome of marine organism tells of humans unicellular ancestors
10. First map of threats to marine ecosystems shows all the worlds oceans are affected
11. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel ... came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo ... At the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see ... as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   Continue ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , March 9, 2017 4Dx has publicly ... Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania. Founder ... to deliver the latest data to world leaders in ... brings together leaders at the forefront of the industry ... imaging. "The quality of the imaging ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... and ROCKVILLE, Md. , March ... of Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund (MBVF), today announced positive ... added to the standard drug therapy regimen in patients ... small molecule drug discovered by scientists at Sequella, Inc. ... Institutes of Health. A total of ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology ... cancer vaccines, today announced participation at the following conferences: ... Blair and Maidstone Life Sciences conference "Cancer Immunotherapy Conference" ... New York, NY . Agenus will participate ... 9:40 am: Robert B. Stein , M.D., Ph.D., ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  SeraCare Life ... global in vitro diagnostics manufacturers and clinical ... industry,s first multiplexed Inherited Cancer reference ... by next-generation sequencing (NGS). The Seraseq™ Inherited ... with input from industry experts to validate ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage  ... Cancer remains ... strain on health care systems, in terms of costs and ... too does the development of innovative and efficient therapies that ... the many types of cancer treatments, a growing number of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: