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Chemical Dispersant Research

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted laboratory tests in which laboratory rats were exposed for five hours to airborne concentrations of the oil dispersant COREXIT 9500A and responses were monitored at one day and seven days post-exposure. Six abstracts from the research by NIOSH scientists and colleagues were presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting, April 9-13, 2011, and published online in April 2011 in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). A seventh abstract was presented at the 2011 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, March 2011, and published online in The Toxicologist, March 2011. In addition, six studies were published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

The abstracts and studies address different aspects of the laboratory research, including a description of the process by which aerosolized droplets were generated for the tests, and findings one day and seven days after exposure. The findings alone do not provide sufficient information for definitive risk assessment. However, they do suggest avenues for additional research to help answer that question. NIOSH plans to conduct additional studies for evaluating effects in laboratory tests after longer (nine days) exposure.

Recommendations that were made by NIOSH for reducing responders' exposure to the dispersant during the Deepwater Horizon response, as a prudent practice to minimize risk of work-related respiratory and dermal effects, are posted here . Interim guidance by NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Deepwater Horizon response is posted here .

Links to the abstracts published online

Articles from the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health