In Toxicity of Crude Oil and It’s Vapors environmental toxicology expert witness Dr. Richard Parent writes:
Also contained in crude oil are several polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, many of which are also classified as known human carcinogens. These materials mostly have very limited volatility, but they can penetrate human and animal skin resulting in significant exposure to those contacting the crude oil. They can adhere also to airborne dust particles and be inhaled. These polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs) tend to concentrate in fatty tissue and are slowly released into the body producing a long-term exposure scenario. Animals and aquatic life exposed to crude also would be expected to concentrate these PNAs in fatty tissue which could later be consumed by humans resulting in additional exposure to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. The use of dispersants exacerbates this problem and, in my opinion, significantly increases the toxicity of crude oil and its components to marine life. This could easily be tested using standard toxicological protocols, but, to my knowledge, this has not been done.
Read more: consultox.com.