Research Service Center

Toxicolgy of Chemical Dispersants in Alaskan Whales

Dr. Wise's project seeks to use this crisis as a case study of oil pollution and understand the impacts of chemical dispersants, crude oil and dispersed oil on the health of marine life. His team will focus on the impacts of these agents on DNA. All life depends on its DNA. DNA damage is well understood to be a short-term test for a myriad of diseases and negative health outcomes including both cancer and reproductive toxicity. DNA damage is a required hazard characterization by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of their risk assessments. Thus, it is an important and appropriate starting point for understanding dispersant toxicity.