You are here:
Comparison of the relative sensitivity of Arctic species to dispersed oil using total petroleum and PAH measures of toxicity
Gardiner, W., A. Bejarano, J. Word, AND M. Barron. Comparison of the relative sensitivity of Arctic species to dispersed oil using total petroleum and PAH measures of toxicity. SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 06 - 10, 2016.
This abstract summarizes a literature review and analysis that determined that Arctic species have similar sensitivity to oil. This work is important because of the likelihood of increasing oil exploration and production in the Arctic, and thus potential for spills and exposure to Arctic species.
Extended periods of open water have expanded the potential opportunities for petroleum and gas exploration and production in the Arctic, increasing the focus on understanding the potential impacts of released oil on aquatic organisms. However, information regarding the toxicity of physically and chemically dispersed oil to Arctic species is generally limited and has been largely based on total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) measures of toxicity. In order to better understand the sensitivity of Arctic species to oil and chemically dispersed oil, the relative sensitivity of Arctic species was determined by their position within empirically derived species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) for a range of petroleum products. SSDs were generated using data for acute toxicity (LC50) derived only from spiked declining oil exposures to minimize between test variation. Toxicity data for 35 marine species were included in this evaluation, with a total of 8 Arctic species and 25 non-Arctic species tested in 26 different oil products. Toxicity data for TPH, naphthalenes, or total PAHs for similar oil product types (e.g., middle distilates, light or medium crudes) were grouped in the SSD analyses. Based on the available toxicity data Arctic species were found to have similar sensitivity as non-Arctic species when based on TPH or PAH measures of toxicity.