(For original article, click here)
Monday 04 October 2010
(Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)
In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP's Macondo Well.
Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water.
These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use.
The samples taken were tested in a private laboratory via gas chromatography.
The environmental analyst who worked with this writer did so on condition of anonymity and performed a micro extraction that tests for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). The lower reporting limit the analyst is able to detect from a solid sample is 50 parts per million (ppm).
Pass Christian, Mississippi
Oiled mooring rope and oil sheen on water's surface inside Christian Harbor, Mississippi, August 13, 2010. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)
A water sample from inside Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi, taken on August 13, contained 611 ppm of TPH. Seawater that is free of oil would test at zero ppm of TPH.
Grand Isle, Louisiana
Grand Isle beach, Grand Isle, Louisiana, August 16, 2010. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)
A soil sample containing tar balls from the beach on Grand Isle, Louisiana, taken on August 16, contained 39,364 ppm of TPH.