Dispersants are often used in oil spill responses because they may mitigate the environmental impacts of the spill by moving the oil from the water surface into the water column enhancing its biodegradation.
While this process helps reduce the likelihood of oil exposure to marine wildlife such as seabirds and marine mammals, aquatic toxicity on marine communities from the dispersant and the chemically dispersed oil needs to be considered more carefully.
Scientists at Research Planning, Inc. and HDR Ecosystem Management evaluated the standard toxicity testing data used to inform dispersant decisions and published a critical review of their findings in the scientific journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in March 2014.
The authors found issues with the current practices, and lead author Adriana Bejarano notes, "Despite concerted efforts by the spill response community to propose and promote discussions on better laboratory practices, studies are still performed without consideration of such recommendations."
Laboratory tests frequently used by decision makers do not adequately replicate the conditions in the field, such as sea state and weather, nor do they necessarily consider exposure durations (short-term vs. standard exposure) and concentrations (steady concentrations vs. spiked concentrations).
Bejarano's goal was to bring to light some of the common misconceptions and challenges in existing data, and to encourage decision makers to consider data quality when making decisions on the use of dispersants.
"Data comparability is difficult because of the mixed messages coming from the scientific literature. Many believe that dispersants make oil more toxic, when in reality existing data generally do not support these claims. Being critical would be beneficial to the entire decision-making process."
Jennifer Lynch | EurekAlert!
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences