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Researcher: Bacteria ate some Gulf spill toxins, but worst remain

from EHS Today

A Florida State University researcher found that bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico consumed many of the toxic components of the oil released during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the months after the spill, but not the most toxic contaminants. In two new studies conducted in a deep sea plume, Assistant Professor Olivia Mason found a species of bacteria called Colwellia likely consumed gaseous hydrocarbons and perhaps benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene compounds that were released as part of the oil spill. However, her research also shows that bacteria did not consume the most toxic parts of the oil spill in the water column plume or in the oil that settled on the ocean floor. more


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