gulf of mexico oil spill
the Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deep water Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people, underwater cameras revealed the BP pipe was leaking oil and gas on the ocean floor about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana. By the time the well was capped on July 15, 2010 87 days later an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil had leaked into the Gulf.
Researchers continue to collect samples from both the water and the sediment to determine if oil is present, and where exactly it came from. Chemical analysis of oil found after a spill can be used to determine its original source.
many of the animals were already dead, but for those found alive, dozens of organizations, including the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park and the New England Aquarium NEA, were mobilized to rescue, rehabilitate, and later release animals affected by the spill.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with monitoring the levels of PAHs in Gulf Coast seafood
The chemicals in oil that are of most concern to humans are called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs. Some of these are known to cause cancer.