"Baltimore Scientists Find Low But Possibly Harmful Gulf Contamination"

"Scientists from the National Aquarium and the Johns Hopkins University say they've found low but potentially harmful levels of toxic oil contaminants in the Gulf of Mexico months after the Deepwater Horizon well blowout was capped."

"Erik Rifkin, interim executive director of the aquarium's conservation center, and Yongseok Hong, a post-doctoral fellow at Hopkins, say that using devices that mimic the way fish absorb contaminants in their environment, they've detected oil-related chemical compounds on the Louisiana coast that traditional water sampling methods mostly missed.

"Whether the values are problematic, we don't know," Rifkin said in an interview. "But there's no reason — except for money or interest, maybe — that people can't go out and do this all over the Gulf."

Rifkin and Hong are to present preliminary findings at a two-day symposium on the Gulf spill that starts Thursday at the National Aquarium. They're pressing for a wider search for low-level contamination left behind by the blowout with passive sampling devices such as the ones they used."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun November 2, 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011