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Chemical comparison and acute toxicity of water accommodated fraction (WAF) of source and field collected Macondo oils from the Deepwater Horizon spill

Abstract

Two Source oils and five field collected oil residues from the Deepwater Horizon incident were chemically characterized. Water accommodated fractions (WAFs) of the Source oils and two of the field-weathered oils were prepared to evaluate the impact of natural weathering on the chemical composition and the acute toxicity of the WAFs. Toxicity test species representing different tropic levels were used (the primary producer Skeletonema costatum (algae) and the herbivorous copepod Acartia tonsa). The results suggest that the potential for acute toxicity is higher in WAFs from non-weathered oils than WAFs from the field weathered oils. The Source oils contained a large fraction of soluble and bioavailable components (such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes) and naphthalene), whereas in the surface collected oils these components were depleted by dissolution into the water column as the oil rose to the surface and by evaporative loss after reaching the sea surface.

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Affiliation

  • SINTEF Ocean / Climate and Environment
  • Diverse norske bedrifter og organisasjoner

Year

2015

Published in

Marine Pollution Bulletin

ISSN

0025-326X

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

91

Issue

1

Page(s)

222 - 229

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