Seafood near Thai oil spill not contaminated

BANGKOK - A public Health Ministry inspection of seafood collected from areas near Ban Phe on the coast of Rayong, Thailand - near sites hit by a crude-oil spill in the Gulf - has found no mercury or heavy metal in excess of safe levels.

Eight samples of green mussel and fish were collected from markets in the district and nearby Klaeng. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and mercury were not found in the samples. Tests for three other toxic heavy metals - arsenic, lead and cadmium - are being done, with results expected to be known next week, said Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources is conducting an inspection of seven aspects of the coastal ecosystem to determine if it has been affected by the spill, and by how much, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Vichet Kasemthongsri said.