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Tuna study reveals oil pollution causes heart problems

Published on Feb 14, 2014 6:33 AM
 
Hundreds, if not thousands, of small fish known as menhaden washed up dead on the beach in Gulfport, Mississippi after the BP oil spill. The reason people have more heart attacks when air pollution levels rise may have been revealed by a study on the impact of the BP oil spill on tuna, scientists said on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHUA CHIN HON

CHICAGO (AFP) - The reason people have more heart attacks when air pollution levels rise may have been revealed by a study on the impact of the BP oil spill on tuna, scientists said on Thursday.

Heart problems in humans and fish have long been linked to air pollution and oil spills respectively. But researchers had not yet sorted out exactly how the toxic compounds found in oil interfere with heart cells.

Interest in the problem increased when the devastating 2010 explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig unleashed four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico during spawning season.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Stanford University set out to understand what happened to the hearts of tuna which had been spawned near the spill.

 
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