Kids playing in water found to have 221 parts per million oil and walking in sand that has 211 ppm; normal is ‘none detected’. [Oil is toxic at 11 ppm, Corexit 9500 at only 2.61 ppm, per Protect the Oceans. All beaches remain open to the public.]
MOBILE, Alabama – More than a week has passed since Alabama’s beaches have seen significant oil, and despite warnings along the Gulf Coast, some swimmers are taking their chances.
News Five collected samples of water and sand from Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Katrina Key and Dauphin Island. To our eyes, the samples appeared normal, until we took them to a local lab to be tested.
Water and sand along Alabama’s coast should contain no more than five parts per million of oil or petroleum, according to Bob Naman, an analytical chemist. But, the samples we collected tested much higher.
From 16 ppm to 221 ppm, our results are concerning. Even more disturbing is what happened to a sample collected from the Dauphin Island Marina near oil containment boom.
“When testing for oil… how much would be normal on the beach?”
[Bob Naman, analytical chemist said,] “I wouldn’t think you’d find very much on the beach. There’s no real ‘normal’ amount. normal is ‘none detected.’”… a chemist with nearly thirty years of experience… he wouldn’t expect to see any more than 5 parts per million of the greasy stuff…
Gulf Shores beach water, right where people were swimming, showed 66 parts per million. The sand, where beachgoers are walking, has 211 parts per million.
[Another] sample was a spot in Orange Beach, where again, we found kids playing. and we found our highest content of oil and petroleum. 221 parts per million. …
When Naman added an organic solvent to separate the oil from the water [collected at Dauphin Island Marina, near some boom], just like he did with all the other samples, this sample exploded right in his lab. “It was almost instantaneous. Actually, maybe one second. That’s just weird.” The result surprised even our chemist.
“We think it most likely happened, either due to the presence of methanol, or methane gas, or the presence of the dispersant, Corexit.”
Even if you don’t see oil on the beach or in the water… chances are it’s there. All of our tests from orange beach to Dauphin Island showed an abnormal presence of oil…
News 5 will [again attempt to] test that water [which exploded] for chemicals, specifically chemicals linked to the dispersant… Corexit.
Also see: Gulf Drinking Water Contaminated by Dispersants