Monday, August 2, 2010

Texas Tech Toxicologist to Testify to Senate Committee on Gulf Dispersant Use, Possible Effects

Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the effects that chemical dispersants, such as Corexit, could have on the environment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Testimony begins at 10 a.m. EDT in room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) serves as chairwoman for the committee.

Currently, scientists at TIEHH are conducting a multitude of experiments to discern how oil and dispersants may impact wildlife, endangered species and the environment.

Kendall says that the unprecedented use of dispersants and the depths of their application on the oil spill have created an ecotoxicological experiment, and that scientists have yet to understand its full impact. Because the dispersants do not break down the oil, he fears they could create greater exposure of toxic aromatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to gulf fish and wildlife.

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