Our state public health laboratory Environmental & Analytical Chemistry unit has been selected as 1 of 8 chemistry laboratories across the country that will be examining commercial seafood for contaminants from the gusher in the Gulf. The goal is find out whether commercial seafood has been contaminated by the oil spill and if so, to determine whether the levels pose a health risk. Our team, and other labs will specialize in testing for Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
All our work will be 100% federally funded under our current FDA Food Emergency Response Network http://www.fernlab.org/ cooperative agreement. Our chemistry team in the Lab is calibrating the instruments we have in house for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration testing method as you’re reading this. We expect to receive additional extraction instruments in the near future which will allow us to process the fish tissue for analysis. We’ll be testing as many as 300 samples per week (starting with fin fish samples) from the Gulf beginning in July. It’s possible that the testing will continue well into the foreseeable future.