Susan Shaw On How The Gulf Oil Spill Is Devastating The Deep Sea
Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.
Break down the oil slick, keep it off the shores: that's grounds for pumping toxic dispersant into the Gulf, say clean-up overseers. Susan Shaw shows evidence it's sparing some beaches only at devastating cost to the health of the deep sea.
For two decades, Susan Shaw has investigated the effects of environmental chemicals in marine animals. She is credited as the first scientist to show that flame-retardant chemicals in consumer products have contaminated marine mammals and commercially important fish stocks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean.
Shaw serves on the International Panel on Chemical Pollution, a select group of scientists urging policymakers to improve management of toxic chemicals. She travels throughout the US, Europe and Asia as a speaker on the ocean crisis and chemical pollution.
"Both types of Corexit dispersants used in the Gulf contain solvents – petroleum distillates that are animal carcinogens – capable of killing or depressing the growth of a wide range of aquatic species. For vulnerable species such as phytoplankton, corals and small fish, the combined effects of Corexit and dispersed oil can be greater and last longer than the effects of oil alone."