U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2008) 27:7, pp. 1475–1476


We take issue with an article by Brannon et al. in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry questioning the validity of our work on the toxicity of petroleum-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the early life stages of fish. Beginning in 1997, we published a series of articles demonstrating adverse effects in response to PAH exposure at concentrations in the low parts per billion. Based on their attempt to reproduce our results, Brannon et al. argue that the effects we described were an artifact caused by contact with PAH-laden oil microdroplets instead of dissolved PAHs and, therefore, that our results likely are not applicable to most field situations. The arguments advanced by Brannon et al. are flawed for a number of reasons, and we stand by our published work.