Distribution of petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seafood following Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Harshica Fernando, Hyunsu Ju, Ramu Kakumanu, Kamlesh K. Bhopale, Sharon Croisant, Cornelis Elferink, Bhupendra Kaphalia, Ghulam Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A community-based participatory research was utilized to address the coastal community's concern regarding Deepwater Horizon oil contamination of seafood. Therefore, we analyzed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), major toxic constituents of crude oil, in the seafood collected from gulf coast (Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi) during December 2011–February 2014. PAHs were extracted from edible part of shrimp, oysters, and crabs by the QuEChERS/dsPE procedure and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The total PAHs data were further analyzed using the General Linear Mixed Model procedure of the SAS (Version 9.3, SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC) statistical software. Brown shrimp showed statistically significant differences in PAHs levels with respect to time and locations while white shrimp showed differences at various time points. PAHs levels in oyster and crab samples were not statistically different at the Type I error of 0.05. Overall, the PAHs levels are far below FDA levels of concern for human consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019



  • Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Petrogenic PAHs
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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