Kids playing in water found to be 221 parts per million oil and walking in sand that is 211 ppm; Normal is ‘none detected’
News 5 Investigates: Testing The Water, WKRG Channel 5 Mobile/Pensacola, July 16, 2010:
More than a week has passed since Alabama’s beaches have seen significant oil… [S]ome 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…
Newscast Transcript Excerpts:
“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.
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