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NOAA Study on Field Equipment Cleaning Techniques Accepted for Publication

February 8, 2021 — After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, field teams collected tens of thousands of samples to analyze for oil constituents as part of a natural resource damage assessment. Care was exercised to avoid cross-contamination by cleaning equipment between samples. 

Person next to a patch of oil on a beach.
Oil and tar coat found in a supratidal zone. Image credit: NOAA.

Some published guidelines recommend using organic solvents in the cleaning routine, but carrying such liquids in the field raises health, safety, and environmental issues. In a partnership between two NOAA offices, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Office of Response and Restoration, a study team analyzed several cleaning techniques to compare their efficacy, using sediments spiked with crude oil. 

A manuscript of the study and its results has just been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The paper will provide evidence-based justification for choices made by field teams in future field sampling efforts. The study was previously published as a NOAA Tech Memo

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Last updated Friday, February 12, 2021 2:09pm PST