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Posted Fri Jul 2 2010: from Imperial College, via EurekAlert:
Oil spills raise arsenic levels in the ocean, says new research
Oil spills can increase levels of toxic arsenic in the ocean, creating an additional long-term threat to the marine ecosystem, according to research published today in the journal Water Research. Arsenic is a poisonous chemical element found in minerals and it is present in oil. High levels of arsenic in seawater can enable the toxin to enter the food chain. It can disrupt the photosynthesis process in marine plants and increase the chances of genetic alterations that can cause birth defects and behavioural changes in aquatic life. It can also kill animals such as birds that feed on sea creatures affected by arsenic.... However, the real danger lies in arsenic's ability to accumulate, which means that each subsequent spill raises the levels of this pollutant in seawater. Our study is a timely reminder that oil spills could create a toxic ticking time bomb, which could threaten the fabric of the marine ecosystem in the future."
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'Doc Jim says:
That "threatened fabric" might be called Arsenic 'n' Oil Lace?

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