Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'll Have a Side of Arsenic With That!

So, you're planning on going out to a nice dinner tonight at your favorite seafood restaurant. Well, you might think again. Where did that seafood come from? Despite the claims of the Obama administration and the FDA, that the gulf seafood is perfectly safe to consume, evidence casts a much different image.

First there is the issue of the dispersant Corexit which was used extensively by BP to "manage" the leak, thereby hiding the true amount of oil leak and avoiding greater fines based on that amount. Currently there is no test being used for the presence of Corexit in the sea food in spite of the fact that oil and Corexit have been found in blue crab larvae. NOAA and the FDA claim to be working on a test, but also claim there is no problem from the highly toxic dispersant.
“They don’t expect to find dispersant in fish but are operating out of an abundance of caution,” says Christine Patrick, a spokeswoman for fisheries programs at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Link
Abundance of caution my ass!
“It’s because people need more reassurance and confidence ... (which are) not as controllable as you would hope.”
Do I smell the stench of propaganda?
In addition to contamination of the seafood, Corexit is having dire affects on the cleanup workers and those living along the Gulf Coast. More on that HERE.

Also there is no testing being done for heavy metals. These include highly toxic cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic.
Both National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and FDA officials told Raw Story that fish and shellfish being tested for the purpose of reopening waters to commercial and recreational fishing are not being tested for heavy metals. Link
This is particularly worrisome for several reasons:
“We know that heavy metals are linked to the development of cancer over the course of time,” said Edward Trapido, the Wendell Gauthier Chair of Cancer Epidemiology at the Louisiana State University School of Public Health. “So if there is no testing, then that’s a problem for sure.”

Trapido testified in June at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing on the spill and is heading a research group at LSU that will look at a range of health effects, including psychiatric and behavioral effects, chronic diseases and cancers.

He pointed out that heavy metals also have associations with Alzheimer’s disease and birth defects. Link

Arsenic in low levels is common in the gulf. Occurring from the natural oil seeps in the sea floor, it is normally filtered out by the sediments in the sea floor, but the sea floor is now saturated with oil.
Professor Mark Sephton said arsenic, which is found in seawater, was normally filtered out of the ocean when it combined with sediment on the sea floor.
“But oil spills stop the normal process because the oil combines with sediment and it leads to an accumulation of arsenic in the water over time,” he said.
“Arsenic only needs to be a 10th of a part per billion to cause problems.” Link
A recent survey done by the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia has found the seafloor of the Gulf covered with a layer of oil from the blowout:
The Research Vessel Oceanus sailed on Aug. 21 on a mission to figure out what happened to the more than 4 million barrels of oil that gushed into the water. Onboard, Samantha Joye, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, says she suddenly has a pretty good idea about where a lot of it ended up. It's showing up in samples of the seafloor, between the well site and the coast.

"I've collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area. And I've never seen anything like this," she said in an interview via satellite phone from the boat.

Joye describes seeing layers of oily material — in some places more than 2 inches thick — covering the bottom of the seafloor. Link

Above photo on the left is of a core sample showing a 2" layer of oil soaked sediment, on the right is a control sample of clean sediment.

This layer of oil in the sediments will surely hinder the absorption of arsenic causing the levels to rise in the water and within the invertebrates upon which other sea life feeds. This in turn will lead to a bio-accumulation of arsenic as it works its way up the food chain and into our food stock. This and other chemicals associated with the oil have already become an issue in the mullet which are being used as hog feed:
... mullet are bottom feeders so you don't know what they've been eating ... because of their migratory nature, you also don't know where they've been eating. This fisherman, nicknamed "Red," who talked about the oil not being visible on the surface because the dispersants have made it sink down into the water, explained how mullet eat, sucking just about anything into what he called their "gizzard,"...

With the very unsurprising revelation reported by NPR last Monday that the oil from the BP oil spill isn't gone, but has merely sunk to the sea floor, it's no big leap to assume that the diet of these bottom-feeding, migratory fish is likely to include just about anything in that "fluffy and porous" layer of oil and "recently dead" things reported by Samantha Joye from the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia... Link

Another bottom foraging fish, menhaden, is used extensively in the production Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for human consumption:
The fish used by Omega Protein Corporation is menhaden, a forage fish which, like the mullet, has a filtering system. Prior to the BP oil spill, the biggest concern about menhaden was that their numbers were becoming so depleted because of their use in Omega-3 fish oil and livestock feed. In short, menhaden are a natural water filter, with each adult fish capable of filtering several gallons of water per minute, clearing the water of excess algae to allow the sunlight to get to oxygen producing undersea plant life. One can only guess what the menhaden in the Gulf are now filtering out of the water there.

Among the other issues pertaining to the leak and use of Corexit are high levels of Natural Gas dissolved in the sea water, local residents with high levels of oil and Corexit associated chemicals in their bodies and massive fish kills.

Much needs to be done to determine the safety of the seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico but at the present time all we are getting is one big cover-up of the deadly serious situation.

Evidence of the cover-up begins with the use of Corexit to sink the oil that reached the surface as well as prevent it from even getting to the surface and continues with threats to reporters and ridiculous regulations being created out of nowhere. The Coast Guard is also involved, as shown in the last portion of the Truthout article.

All of this is to lessen British Petroleum's liability for damages as those damages are based on the amount of oil which was leaked. Another ploy BP has used is to shift the liability of contaminated seafood onto the shrimpers, oyster-men and fishermen whose livelihood depends on a viable source of seafood. A source which is now seriously in question. Livelihoods which have been disrupted if not destroyed.

We need the truth and we need it now!

More Deepwater Horizon coverage at the Lair



  1. Holy crappers! I hope you're getting paid to write a post like this!

  2. Livelihoods which have been disrupted if not destroyed

    Destoryed is the correct answer, Sad.

  3. The damage continues, although secretly. Thank you for exposing the dangers of seafood caught in the Gulf. This is serious stuff, and should not be ignored by the government or health agencies. It needs to be brought to the public's attention.

  4. Hello MA Solar, Thanks for stopping by.