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Environmental Res. Bernard Singleton 2016 .pdf
Environmental Research (2016)
  • Joy Semien
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest maritime oil spill in history
resulting in the accumulation of genotoxic substances in the air, soil, and water. This has potential far-
reaching health impacts on cleanup field workers and on the populations living in the contaminated
coastal areas. We have employed portable airborne particulate matter samplers (SKC Biosampler Im-
pinger) and a genetically engineered bacterial reporter system (umu-ChromoTest from EBPI) to de-
termine levels of genotoxicity of air samples collected from highly contaminated areas of coastal
Louisiana including Grand Isle, Port Fourchon, and Elmer's Island in the spring, summer and fall of 2011,
2012, 2013 and 2014. Air samples collected from a non-contaminated area, Sea Rim State Park, Texas,
served as a control for background airborne genotoxic particles. In comparison to controls, air samples
from the contaminated areas demonstrated highly significant increases in genotoxicity with the highest
values registered during the month of July in 2011, 2013, and 2014, in all three locations. This seasonal
trend was disrupted in 2012, when the highest genotoxicity values were detected in October, which
correlated with hurricane Isaac landfall in late August of 2012, about five weeks before a routine col-
lection of fall air samples. Our data demonstrate: (i) high levels of air genotoxicity in the monitored areas
over last four years post DWH oil spill; (ii) airborne particulate genotoxicity peaks in summers and
correlates with high temperatures and high humidity; and (iii) this seasonal trend was disrupted by the
hurricane Isaac landfall, which further supports the concept of a continuous negative impact of the oil
spill in this region.
Publication Date
December 16, 2016
Citation Information
Joy Semien. "Environmental Res. Bernard Singleton 2016 .pdf" Environmental Research Vol. 146 (2016) p. 108 - 115
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