Air pollution levels off the coast of Louisiana reached levels typically only seen in large cities in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Researchers tested air-borne zone and particulate matter, which are proven to have direct effects on human health, and found that about 8 percent of every 13 spilled barrels made it to the ocean's surface and evaporated into airborne particles small enough to be inhaled.
"It was like having a large city's worth of pollution appear out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico," said Daniel Murphy, a NOAA scientist and co-author of the report.
As a result, there were increased levels of respiratory problems across the gulf region. Homeowners may wish to consider investing in a IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier to ward off prolonged exposure to toxins such as these.
The report states that as the oil evaporated, it put 10 times more organic particles in the air than the burning did, and that areas as far as 50 miles inland suffered from the degraded air quality. The BP Deepwater Horizon spill may have lasting health and ecological effects.