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Monitoring Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure in Seafood with Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Implementing Organization

Louisiana State University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Oil System Safety Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

As much as one-third of the oil entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well consists of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds are soluble in water, toxic, and can be absorbed by seafood, rendering it tainted by smell and hazardous to consumers. The standard method for the determination of PAHs in seafood is gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry, which is sensitive, but requires time-consuming extractions and separation steps that can take many hours to complete.


Kermit K. Murray
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