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Project 2: Exposure Assessment of Macondo
Oil Spill in Affected Communities

  • Exposure assessment & bio-monitoring research in seafood & human population
  • Predict future exposure risks using Inverse Modeling

In collaboration with Project 1, this project will use metabolomics to identify the most prevalent petrogenic PAH in selected shellfish and finfish consumed by coastal communities. Human plasma samples collected from our affected community partners will be examined for PAH signatures detected in the marine species. Concentration measurements in target marine species (edible seafood listed in cooperation with the participating communities) will be used to develop inverse models that incorporate physical transport, animal behavior, and food web transfers to reconcile future risks for human exposure.

Specific Aims:

  • Biomarkers of Exposure in Marine Animals: To determine the burden of DWH petrogenic hydrocarbons in fishes, shrimps, crabs and oysters collected from various BP Gulf oil spilled areas, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based metabolomic approaches to provide hydrocarbon signature for DWH oil exposure.
  • Biomarkers of Exposure in Humans: The most prevalent hydrocarbons identified in marine life (hydrocarbon signature) under Aim1 will be analyzed using GC-MS platform using human serum samples collected from affected communities.
  • Inverse Exposure Modeling: Information obtained from Aims 1 and 2 will be utilized in inverse models of marine food webs of target (exposed) species to determine the risk of long-term exposure to DWH oil amongst members of our partner communities.¬†The models will combine known information of the natural history of the organisms, the evolving condition and distribution of the contaminants and the co-distribution of the two over the life span of the organisms and their prey.


Procedure for the analysis of fish/shrimp/crab samples using QuEChERS/dSPE Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe/dispersive solid phase extraction) sample preparation

  • Weigh 5 g (wet) of seafood sample in a 50 ml Falcon tube (Blue cap).
  • Add 12 ml of water and homogenize the sample.
  • Add deuterated standard solutions (naphthalene, anthracene, perylene) (40ul of 5.0ug/ml stock).
  • Add 15 ml of acetonitrile (ACN) and vortex (15 min).
  • Add QuEChERS (6g MgSO4 and 1.5 g NaCl).
  • Shake vigorously (1 min) vortex (15 min) and centrifuge.
  • Transfer 10 ml of the ACN layer to Agilent ADAC fatty sample DSPE in 50 ml tube.
  • Vortex (15 min) and centrifuge.
  • Filter (0.2 um), and reduce the sample to about 300 ul under nitrogen (at 400 C), and reconstitute to 500 ul with ACN (Not reducing the sample to dryness for better recovery especially for naphthalene) .
  • Analyze the sample using GCMS by injecting 1ul out of 500ul final volume.


Right Column

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