Oil Spill-Related Environmental Exposures and Testing

Read an important message from Dr. Robert Middleberg, Laboratory Director and Forensic Toxicologist at NMS Labs.

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In response to the known exposure of people and animals to crude oil and chemical dispersants being used in the Gulf of Mexico, NMS Labs has developed a panel of agents to help assess exposure. This panel was developed by NMS Labs toxicologists using their knowledge, experience and after discussion with industrial hygienists and scientists from around the country. While no one completely understands each and every component of the leaked crude oil, the following tests cover many of the common agents believed to be present. If at all possible, NMS Labs recommends that baseline testing of individuals takes place before potential exposure. Further, it should be kept in mind that exposure does not necessarily mean physical contact with the crude oil, but also includes being in an environment where vapors from the material permeate the air where individuals are located.

As an industry leader in environmental exposure testing, NMS Labs is now offering its OIL SPILL EXPOSURE TESTING PACKAGE. Healthcare providers, researchers and health officials may quickly obtain information about blood or urine levels for a broad list of chemicals associated with components of crude oil.

The Oil Spill Exposure Testing Package*:

  • Is a concise means to obtain broad exposure level insights, quickly.
  • Delivers information that can be used to help set baselines, determine exposure levels and obtain data for long term impact studies.
  • Is comprised of all of the 7 tests and multiple analytes listed below, relevant to exposure to both crude oil and dispersants being used in cleanup efforts, including:

       - 1-Hydroxypyrene
       - Benzene
       - Ethyl Benzene
       - Ethylphenol
       - Hippuric Acid
       - Hydrocarbons C1-7
       - Hydrocarbons C9-32
       - Mandelic Acid
       - Methylhippuric Acid
       - o,m,p-Xylenes
       - o-Cresol
       - Phenol
       - Phenylglyoxylic Acid
       - S-Phenylmercapturic Acid
       - Styrene
       - t,t-Muconic Acid
       - Thiosulfate
       - Toluene

0457U Aromatic Solvents Panel, Urine

Analytes Measured:
- Specific Gravity
- Creatinine
- o-Cresol (Toluene)
- Phenol (common metabolite of such compounds as Benzene
   and Phenol)
- Ethylphenol (Ethylbenzene and Phenylglyoxylic Acid)
- Hippuric Acid (Toluene)
- Methylhippuric Acid (Xylenes)
- Mandelic Acid (Ethylbenzene, Styrene)
- Phenylglyoxylic Acid (Ethylbenzene, Styrene)
- S-Phenylmercapturic Acid (Benzene)
- tt-Muconic Acid (Benzene)

Reason for Testing:  Metabolites of Potential Components of Crude Oil as designated in parentheses; Creatinine and Specific Gravity for normalizing purposes

0785B Aromatic Solvents Exposure Panel, Blood

Analytes Measured:
- Benzene
- Toluene
- o,m,p-Xylenes
- Ethyl Benzene
- Styrene

Reason for Testing: Potential Components of Crude Oil

0541B Benzene, Blood

Reason for Testing: Potential Component of Crude Oil

3101U Benzene Metabolites Panel, Urine

Analytes Measured:
- Creatinine
- S-Phenylmercapturic Acid (Creatinine corrected)
- S-Phenylmercapturic Acid
- t,t-Muconic Acid (Creatinine corrected)
- t,t-Muconic Acid

Reason for Testing:
Potential Components of Crude Oil

2139B Petroleum Distillates Panel, Blood

Analytes Measured:
- Hydrocarbons C1-7
- Hydrocarbons C9-32

Reason for Testing:
Potential Components of Crude Oil

2358U 1-Hydroxypyrene, Urine

Reason for Testing: Metabolite of Pyrene used as an indicator for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure

4472U Thiosulfate, Urine

Analytes Measured:
- Creatinine
- Thiosulfate (Creatinine corrected)
- Thiosulfate

Reason for Testing:
Occupational toxin, biological marker of sulfide exposure

0011U 2-Butoxyethanol Metabolite (2-Butoxyacetic Acid - Total), Urine

Analytes Measured: Metabolites of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether

Reason for Testing: Biological marker of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether exposure

*These tests are also offered individually.  Please contact customer service.

This list is a general guide of tests that could be useful for exposures assessment. More compound-specific concerns can be addressed by speaking with a toxicologist at NMS Labs. We recommend calling the laboratory and speaking to one of our toxicologists before sending samples to ensure proper timing of specimen collection, most appropriate specimens, transport temperatures, special handling, etc.

Well-recognized for its industry leading innovation capabilities, NMS Labs is currently developing and validating new tests specific to this situation. Contact us to request specific test development.

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