The Air Near the BP Oil Spill

By now most people know about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects or potential effects on water quality and wildlife. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had released measurements of the air quality in the area. Scientists found common air pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, in amounts typical of urban areas in U.S. cities. However, 15 to 70 kilometers downwind from the oil spill, concentrations of certain hydrocarbons were much higher than than would be found in urban air.

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