Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NO ONE has been testing for dispersants in Florida's coastal waters - Until Now

This past Sunday beach goers in Northwest Florida (directly south of Alabama) saw a sheen on the water. People who entered the water reported health concerns including coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and skin and eye irritations.

No one has been testing these waters for traces of the dispersants that BP is using to clean up the spill. The agencies who are testing these waters for oil are not publishing the results of their tests.

The Chapter Chair (President) of Surfrider's Emerald Coast Chapter spoke with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin about this during a July 15 press conference in Pensacola, Florida. Here's a video of that conversation -

The Emerald Coast Chapter has decided not to wait any longer - they've decided to test the waters for oil and for traces of dispersants themselves. They will publish the results.

Due to the severity of the spill, the tests may need to be conducted for the next 5 - 10 years. The cost for testing dispersants is about $350/per test and has to be shipped to a lab in Washington State. Additionally, oil testing is about $80/per sample. The Emerald Coast Chapter is entirely volunteer-run and is self-financing the tests. You can make a contribution here:

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