Oil from BP spill may be more toxic than previously believed

17:00, August 20, 2010      

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University of South Florida's recent research shows the toxicity of microscopic drops of oil in the undersea plumes from the BP spill may be more toxic than previously believed.

The dispersed oil appears to be having a toxic effect on bacteria and phytoplankton, the researchers say, according to Science & Technology reports.

They suggest that this highly dispersed oil, though at very low concentrations, may still pose a risk to microscopic marine life, including eggs and larvae of fish and other creatures.

"It’s not like this dark cloud of death that’s killing everything in the water," Dr. David Naar said.

"Probably the worst-case scenario is if the same currents that are transporting the dispersed oil at depth focus it into the same places that currents concentrate larvae," Dr. Jeffrey Short said.

Despite more testing as well as confirmation that the oil originated from the BP spill, the results, if hold, would "confirm our worst fears, that the oil is dispersed by still harming the food web," Jeffery Short from Oceana said, according to New York Times.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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