U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation), Vol. 42, No. 11 (Nov., 1970), pp. 1982-1989


U.S. government work


Hazards to marine and estuarine fauna associated with offshore drilling of oil and with transport of large quantities of oils via tankers are numerous and understandable. At present, there is a growing body of evidence on adverse effects to these organisms of crude oil (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) and chemical oil counteracting agents or dispersants (5) (6) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17). These effects are well summarized by Smith (18) and by Carthy and Arthur (19).

Comparatively few workers have studied the influence of oil-dispersant mixtures of marine life. Studies by Rosenthal and Gunkel (20) and Kuhl and Mann (5) have led them to conclude that crude oils are less toxic than oil-dispersant mixtures. Spooner (9) states that work with dispersants and oil together is important, but the varying toxicities of the oils and their mechanical awkwardness in biological experiments makes it difficult to standardize such work and to compare it with that of others.