牠們的身體全載滿了有毒的化學物質，數百種的化合物，包含所有種類，這十分驚人，而牠們的死亡頻率更己成常規，全球定期有數萬隻的鯨豚集體暴斃，預言更直指牠們即將滅絕，約所有類種的三分之一，就在未來 30 年內，我的專案是沿著大西洋西北部海域，名稱為「海豹哨兵」，我們追蹤污染對食物網絡頂層的影響，即海洋哺乳類動物和魚類，這是一個區域性的環毒調查，我們檢測很多的化合物，但最近對阻燃劑特別感興趣，與溴化合的阻燃劑，這種化合物被廣泛運用且充斥在我們的日常生活中，從座椅的靠墊，各位現在正坐在上面，到我們所用電腦的塑膠外殼，電視等諸如此類，我們所追蹤的就是，這些東西如何從產品到被棄入海洋，即它們的最終廢棄場，丟棄的過程是條複雜的路徑，因為，當這些產品被淘汰，它們會先被埋入土中，有些直接被丟出門外，最後被收集到掩埋場，再到污水處理場，誠如各位所知，我們每年丟掉數以十億計的電腦和電視，那些來到電子廢棄物堆放場的老舊產品都會污染表層水，最後便流入大海，最後的終點站。
因此，在我們的研究中，我們的確不出預料地發現高含量的阻燃劑累積在港口海豹的身上，我們於是提出報告，結果這種名為 Deca 的神經毒性阻燃劑在緬因州的被禁用，即我辦公的地方，隨後產品退出市場，全美各地在去年底跟進，但我們說從正面看來，我們的港口海豹至少不會於近期再受肝火中燒之苦，之後我感到十分好奇，作為一位毒物學家，我於是貢獻出幾滴血給實驗室，並自言：「Okay，我們來試試看」，Well，我們竟測出 113 種不同的化合物，存在於我的血液中，我必須說的是，如果各位也接受檢測的話，你們可能會發現相似的數據，或混合物，一如他們所用的名稱，但我攝入很多的阻燃劑，原因多層，附提一下等級的比較，美國人對比於歐洲人，含有 10 到 40 倍較多的這類化合物累積在我們體內，為何？因為我們在所有東西中都加入阻燃劑，外加上我們法規對於有毒化學物品的軟弱態度，瞧，我是圖表上體內毒素較高的一個，真有幸啊！但我想，好吧，如果發生火災，至少我是最後一個被點燃的人。（笑聲）
I am a marine toxicologist, and I've been very, very concerned about the Gulf, particularly about the massive applications of the toxic dispersants, the Corexits. I've been working on ocean pollution for quite a long time -- the impacts on marine life and particularly the impacts on marine mammals. As it turns out, marine mammals are at the top of this food chain that we're pouring millions of tons of toxic substances into every year. And they are showing the signs of this. I'm sorry to have a sad slide like this, but not everything is all that happy, especially in my work. They are loaded with toxic chemicals in their body, hundreds of compounds, all kinds of compounds -- it's staggering. And they're dying off rather regularly, tens of thousands around the world. It's predicted they may go extinct -- about a third of them -- within about 30 years.
So my project is along the Northwest Atlantic. It's called Seals as Sentinels. We're tracking pollution at the top of the food web, in marine mammals and fish. It's a region-wide, eco-toxicological investigation. We're looking at a lot of compounds, but recently been quite interested in the flame retardants, the brominated flame retardants that are in many, many things that we use in our everyday life, from the cushions in the chairs we're all sitting on to the plastic casings of our computers, our television sets and so on. So we are tracking how do these things get from the products into the ocean, which is the final sink for them. And there's quite a complicated pathway for that because, as these products age, they get concentrated in dust, and then they also get thrown out, so they go to the landfills. They wind up in waste water treatment plants. As you all know, we throw out billions of computers and TVs every year. And those go to e-waste dumps. And all that gets into surface waters, eventually reaching the ocean, the final sink. So, in our study, we did find quite high levels, as we expected, of these flame retardants in the harbor seals' bodies. And we reported this. It led to a ban of this neuro-toxic flame retardant called Deca in Maine, where I am based, and also then a phase-out, U.S.-wide, at the end of last year. But we said, well, on the bright side, our harbor seals at least will not be bursting into flame anytime soon.
So then I got really curious, myself, as a toxicologist, and I donated some blood to my lab and said, "Okay, let's do it." Well, we detected 113 different compounds in my blood. And I must say, if any of you would have this done, you'd probably find a similar profile, or cocktail, as they call it. But I was the recipient of a lot of flame retardant material for some reason. And just to point out the levels -- Americans have 10 to 40 times higher levels of these compounds in our bodies than the Europeans. Why? Because we are flame-retarding everything, and we have weak regulations for toxic chemicals. But lo and behold, I'm one of the high-end individuals. Lucky me. But then I thought, well, in case of a fire, I might be the last one to ignite.
所以，問題是，這就是我們今日在墨西哥灣要面對的問題，我們在美國並沒有合宜的管治化學製品，壓根兒就沒有在管！盡管讓產業主導全局，Jackie Savitz 今早的演講說到大石油巨頭，其文宣及我們如何被他們的謊言洗腦，而化學製品巨頭則是我們要應付的對象，但他們卻被准許保有交易機密，而不需公開內含物細節，另外，他們也不給健康與安全數據，結果是他們在不受管轄的情況下，直接將產品推向市場，他們也在被證明有罪之前都假裝無辜，證明的擔子不在製造商，我因此於五月受邀前往墨西哥灣，我去那兒做初步的檢測調查，對象是分散劑及它們如何進入水層等工作，我也被告知自己是目前唯一的一位毒物學家，笨到真的潛入水灣中，但我真的下海了，我們潛入浮油時，甚至沒有穿 HazMat 化學防護服，我後來還真的病了，我在兩天後感到猛烈的喉痛，感覺上是我的喉嚨著火了，但症狀不久便消失了，我們在潛下水時所見的景像，真的令我感到震驚，那景像從此陰魂不散，因為我可以看到油滴不斷地擴散，一路下潛時所見盡是油滴圍死浮游生物，而這些捲成小小一捆的生命正是吃浮游生物之動物的主食，鯡魚之類的小魚，眼前所見的是一幅死亡網絡，就在一路下潛的過程中。
So anyway, here's the problem -- and it is a problem that we're looking at in the Gulf today -- we're not regulating chemicals in this country properly. We're hardly regulating them at all. And we're letting industry run the show. And Jackie Savitz spoke this morning about Big Oil and the propaganda and how we're all brainwashed with their, you know, lies and so forth. Well, Big Chemical is what we're dealing with here. And they're allowed to keep trade secrets, so they don't even give the ingredients out. Plus they don't give health and safety data, so, consequently, they cannot be regulated before they go to market. So it's a case of innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is not on the producer.
So I then was invited to go to the Gulf in May. I went down there on a preliminary investigation to look into dispersants and how they're going into the water column and so forth. And I was told that I was the only toxicologist to date who was dumb enough to get into the water, but I did. And we dove in the slick without even HazMat gear. And I did get sick. I got a ferocious sore throat two days later. I felt like my throat was on fire. But it did pass. And what I did see in the water as we went down, what really shocked me -- and it's haunted me ever since -- because I could see the droplets of oil dispersing. And as you go down, they're catching all kinds of plankton, bumping into, you know, little wisps of life that are the food for the planktivores, the herring kind of fish. And you could just see the web of death as you go down in the water column.
Well, you know, we got into this in the beginning as a trade-off, they say, between the wetlands versus the ocean depth. And I didn't agree with that decision at the time; I still don't. The decision was to protect the marshes. When the oil gets into the marshes, you can't get it out. And as you know, there's been a very weak response, up until recently, to actually collect the oil. It's gotten much more aggressive. This is an Exxon slide showing what happens, the scenario and the trade-off. So this shows oil on the surface. You can see it getting up into the mangrove, but it is not harming the corals or the sea grass, right. So here we have the other scenario. If you disperse, the sea grass and the corals are getting hit pretty hard, but you're saving the mangrove. So this, to me, is like going to the eye doctor, okay? Is it better with one or two?
The problem is that we have released so darn much of this stuff, we're climbing up to two million gallons very quickly. And then there's the problem of the plumes. What plumes? It turns out there are plumes. Independent researchers found that. And then there's the looming, messy problem of human health, reported human health effects. And actually, one of our federal officials said that it was probably heat stress.
曾下過那片海，我只在水中短待，但可以告訴各位，那不是熱應力，那是濃密、揮發性的油氣，且是來自那片被污染的水域，加上 Corexit，後者內含溶劑，因此，那一點也不理性的說帖，那我們到底要聽誰的？英國石油的戲碼開演，我們的官員抱怨 Corexit，因它是最毒的一種分散劑，但該死的是，他們仍繼續使用，而且是用最毒的一種，9527，直到供貨用盡，現在改採 9500，9527 內含乙二醇單丁醚，那會造成內出血，那是我們從 Exxon Valdez 油船漏油事件學到的知識，而我們現在在做的事，正是將含石油溶劑的化合物倒入漏油的污染水域，這邏輯何在？這就是分散劑運作的模式，我想要向各位展示發生在底部的這個可愛小東西，微胞，微胞在石油四周形成，而首先發生的動作是，溶劑扎進浮油，即脂膜，它們將介面活性劑留在那裡，介面活性劑就是像我們用來包速食的東西，它們會將油滴包住，產生許多小小的油滴，周圍扎滿了小巧的介面活性劑，但要記得的是，微胞，這些小小的漂浮含毒水珠是傳播者的角色，它們就像聯邦快遞的送貨員，假設你是一條魚，早上時沒有收到水珠，下午保證收到，因為它們有你的號碼，所以從毒物學的角度看來，這真的很糟，因為 Corexit 和散開的浮油結合在一起的毒性遠超過兩者分開時，通常曝露，都是加在一起的曝露，分散劑，如我已說過，其作用是分解脂膜，其內含的溶劑反應很快，所以它們可以分解我們體內的脂膜，一開始是皮膚細胞，接下來就是器官細胞，它實際上加速了石油進入我們體入的速度，不只更容易，而且更快速。
石油包含數百種的碳氫化合物和其他的化合物，它們會毒害體內的所有器官，而當與分散劑結合，威力倍增，因為毒性加倍，Corexit 也含有石油溶劑和許多其他的有毒化合物，我參加了一個對話團體，一個全國性的團體，成員是毒物學家和化學家，我們基本上都在試圖扭轉局勢，想要找出這玩意兒的內含元素，其功效和這些化學物質的相互作用，因為大部份不為我們所知，其副產品為何？因為後者通常比原來的化合物更毒，我們發現的是，Corexit 9500 含有重金屬、砒霜和鉻，高劑量的砒霜會致癌，這就是我們要看的東西，這些離譜的安全數據表，因為內容空洞，但現在他們被迫要發佈詳細清單，說明 Corexit 的所有內含物，你們猜怎麼了，好多東西都沒列出來，衍生物、衍生物，但這些是很大的一類化學物組合，內含很多很多化合物和山梨醇，然後是石油餾出物，也就是溶劑，一樣分成數百種的類別，但它們都未被指明，為何？又是交易機密，英國石油繼續裝傻，還有處理浮油的納爾科公司也使用同一藉口，這些化學物質至今未公佈，而毒物學家真是快等到瘋了，因為我們無法確切地預測將產生何種反應和毒性結果。
So ... Having been in that water just for the short time I was there, I can tell you, it is not heat stress. There are volumes of volatile petroleum fumes coming off that water, plus the Corexit, which has solvent in it. So it is not at all rational.
So what do we have? The BP show is going on. Our officials complained about Corexit, which is the most toxic line of dispersants. But heck, they're still using it, and they used the most toxic one, the 9527, until they ran out of supplies. Now they're on 9500. 9527 had 2-butoxyethanol in it that causes internal bleeding. We know that from the Exxon Valdez spill, by the way. So what we're doing, we're putting compounds with petroleum solvents onto a petroleum spill. Does this make sense? So this is the way it works. And I want to show you this cute little thing that happens here. It's a micelle. Micelles form around the oil. And what happens first is the solvents break into the oil, the lipid membrane, they let the surfactants in there. The surfactants -- which are like things we use on fast food wrappers -- they grab around the droplets of oil, and they make little, tiny droplets with nice, little surfactant edges to them. The thing to remember about the micelles -- these little floating globules of toxin -- is they are there to deliver. They're like the FedEx guys. And if you're a fish, and you haven't gotten your glob in the morning, you're going to get it in the afternoon, because they've got your number.
So from a toxicology perspective, this is really awful because Corexit and the dispersed oil are much more toxic together than either alone. And usually the exposure is a combined exposure. The dispersants -- as I was saying -- their job is to break down the lipid membrane. The solvents in them do that very efficiently. So they break down lipid membranes in our body, starting with cells of the skin, the cells of organs. So it actually hastens oil getting into the body easily and readily. Oil contains hundreds of hydrocarbon compounds and other compounds that are toxic to every organ in the body. And so with the dispersants combined, you have this very synergistic combined toxicity. Corexit also contains petroleum solvents and many other toxic compounds. And I'm part of a chat group, which is a national group of toxicologists and chemists that are, you know, basically turning cartwheels trying to figure out what's in this stuff, and what is it doing and what are the interactions of these chemicals, most of which we don't know, and what are their byproducts, which are usually more toxic than the parent compound. So we did find that Corexit 9500 contains heavy metals, arsenic and chromium -- arsenic at high enough levels to have cancer-causing effects.
So this is what we have to look at, these, you know, ridiculous safety data sheets, which have nothing on them much. And now they were forced to release the ultimate list of everything that's in Corexit. And guess what, tons of stuff is missing. Derivatives, derivatives, these are whole big groups of many, many compounds, these sorbitans. And then you get down to the petroleum distillates, which are the solvents, hundreds of them. They are not identified. And why? Trade secrets again. BP's running the show, and the Nalco company, this is all they have to do. So far these ingredients have not been released, and toxicologists are actually going nuts because we cannot predict with certainty what the interactions and toxic results are going to be.
但我們的確有許多的深海物種面臨危機，我們都知道的 33 種野生動物需要庇護，這麼多的野生動物、魚類和多樣物種，我們從前次的漏油學到教訓。其中一部份是我的惡夢之一，我很感謝能有機會將一些我的怒火煽向各位，我們瞭解到的是珊瑚將受到重創，而這個研究是根據澳洲海岸所完成，塔斯馬尼亞的海岸，珊瑚，誠如各位所知是約是四分之一海洋物種的家，但 Corexit 與石油的結合，牠們將不再有受精作用，僅是石油，還有 98% 的受精作用，牠們是十分敏感的物種，尤其是對這種毒毒結合，這是另一個族群，我在水層中看得很清楚，浮游生物和浮游生物獵食者，這些是像小鯡魚之類的魚，牠們游過水層，魚嘴大開，肆無忌憚的吞食，吻食這種內含有毒物的褐色布丁，我們從其他研究得知，這是很毒的混合物，石油結合 Corexit 會致死，且劑量遠低於石油單項，這至少是我們所知的毒性反應，但我的惡夢是食魚維生的魚類，像是海鱺、石斑、紅甘等大型魚，還有鮪魚和鯊魚，都會受到影響，魚鰓非常敏感，呼吸系統也非常敏感，設想一下，Corexit 侵入薄膜，它會堵住魚鰓，然後，這些動物將會罹患一種類似化學肺炎的疾病，試圖咳出那些化合物，它還會造成內出血，就在攝取有毒物時，我很擔心需要呼吸空氣的海洋哺乳類，不只因為牠們是我研究的對象，也因為牠們曝露於危險之中的方式，每次牠們躍出海面呼吸，牠們都將吸入這些揮發性的油氣，那最後將造成肺炎，損害肝、腎和大腦，Corexit 會將石油，帶入每一層薄膜和體內的每個系統，之後會造成許多不同的痛苦反應，眼、口灼熱感、皮膚潰爛和機能障礙。
我個人認為大眾還未開始認知到這場漏油對墨西哥灣野生動物的深遠影響，我們開始假設，我們知道什麼？我們設想營養瀑布會是如何？即有些動物被消滅了，之後位於上層的所有獵食者，即食用下層者都將跟著滅亡，我們的想法是，這是個簡單的思考過程，但很明顯地，浮游生物和小型食魚類將消失，這是我們目前所能做出的推測，結果顯示，我們並不擅長推演預言，這是 Exxon Valdez 科學家所想的結果，這張營養瀑布，海草與鯡魚會先掛點，然後是其他魚類，一路往上，他們想的是，最後殺人鯨，將位於瀑布的頂端，然後便得到預測結果，更加複雜，但也更加仔細，實際上，海草和吸附在岩石上的藤壺，將因為 Corexit 與石油的結合而大量滅絕，並由侵入性的物種所取代，但後者的岩石吸附力不強，抵不住颶風，牠們便會自岩石掉落，而這，是海鴨食物網的全部，各位知道，我們失去約 300,000 隻的海鴨，就一場 Exxon Valdez 漏油意外，數量從此一去不回，我們因此發起一項獨立研究，我所謂的獨立並不是指單獨，這裡獨立的意思是，不會與像犯罪現場般保密的情況掛勾，就像現時在墨西哥灣上演的情況，我們實際上是要檢測毒性影響，而我們需要很多很多的夥伴支持我們以聰明的方式來進行，我們已有些支持夥伴在列，Dave Gallo 已加入，Sylvia 也在名單上，我們希望各位當中有些人也可以幫我們。
But we do have quite a lot at risk down there, as we all know, the 33 wildlife refuges, so much wildlife and fish and diversity. So we know from previous spills. And then part of this is just part of my bad dreams. And I appreciate being able to vent some of my anguish upon you. What we do know is that the corals are going to get hit hard. And this is a study that was done on the Australian coast, the coast of Tasmania. Corals are, you know, the home to about a quarter of all marine species. And with the Corexit and the oil, there's zero percent fertilization. With oil alone, there's 98 percent fertilization. So they're a very sensitive species to this combo.
Here's another group. I could see myself easily in the water column. The plankton and the plankton eaters, you know, these are the little herring fish that go through the water column with their mouths open, feeding indiscriminately and just lapping up this brown pudding of toxic stuff. And we do know from other studies that this is a highly toxic mixture. See the oil and Corexit is causing death at a much, much lower dose than oil alone. That's probably as far as what we do know about toxic effects. But my bad dreams go like this. The piscivorous fish, the cobia, grouper, amberjacks, those big fish, also the tuna and sharks, are going to hit by this. And the gills are quite sensitive. The respiratory system is very sensitive. Think about it with the Corexit hitting the membranes, and it will clog up the gills, and then these animals are going to be getting something like what you call chemical pneumonia, trying to aspirate the compounds. It also will cause internal bleeding upon ingestion. I'm very worried about the air-breathing mammals because I study them, but also, the way their going to be exposed is every time they come to the surface to take a breath, they're going to inhale these volatile fumes. And what does happen with that eventually is pneumonia sets in and liver, kidney, brain damage. The Corexit is transporting the oil into every membrane and every system of the body. And you're having a lot of different unpleasant effects, but burns to the eyes and mouth, skin ulcers, lesions. And I think, personally, that we have not begun to see the impacts of this spill on the wildlife of the Gulf.
We started hypothesizing: what do we know? what do with think would be a trophic cascade? which means that somebody gets wiped out, and then everything above that's eating those guys will crash. So our thought was -- this is a simple thinking process, but ... obviously the plankton, the planktivores, and that's about as far as we got. And then it turns out we're not very good at figuring this stuff out. This is what the Exxon Valdez scientists thought would happen, this trophic cascade where you lose the kelp and the herring and other fishes and going up. They thought that eventually the killer whale would be at the top of this cascade. And then here's what really happened, much more complicated, much more specific. Actually the kelp and the barnacles that attach to the rock were decimated by the combination of Corexit and the oil. They were replaced by invasive species, which had less holding power to the rock. Storms came along. They ripped out of the rock. And this was the entire food web for the sea ducks. And as you know, we lost about 300,000 sea ducks from the Exxon Valdez spill, and they haven't come back.
So we are launching an independent study. And by independent, I do not mean alone; I mean independent in the sense of not tied to the kind of crime-scene secrecy that's going on in the Gulf now. But we are actually going to be assessing toxic impacts, but we need lots and lots of partners to do this intelligently. We have some of the partners lined up. And Dave Gallo signed on. Sylvia's in here. And we hope that some of you will help us. My question to you is: why shouldn't we know? Don't we have the right to know? Surely we have the right to learn what loss we are going through in the Gulf. And my wish would be -- for the gulf prize -- would be that we have the truth. Whatever it is, please let us have the truth. And to get there, we need to do the assessment.
So I appreciate being here. Thank you.