Dr. Sawyer has made numerous television and media appearances with regard to toxicological
matters including food safety, poisonings, exposures, scientific methods and other
issues of public interest. His opinions have been solicited by newpapers and magazines
on a variety of toxicological issues. Here are some recent examples:
Dr. Sawyer Cited in UK Newspaper Regarding Hydrocarbon Contamination of Marine Life
News: Hundreds of beached dolphin carcasses, shrimp with no eyes, contaminated
fish, ancient corals caked in oil and some seriously unwell people are among the
legacies that scientists are still uncovering in the wake of BP's Deepwater Horizon
spill. Scientists believe the addition of dispersants to the oil made it more easily
absorbed through the gills of fish and into the bloodstream. Dr William Sawyer,
a toxicologist, has studied concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHC) in edible
fish and shellfish in the Gulf region. Samples before the spill had no measurable
PHC in the tissue, whereas fish tested in recent months show tissue concentrations
as high as 10,000 parts per million, or 1 percent of all tissue. Dr. Sawyer stated
that: "The study shows that the absorption [of the oil] was enhanced by the
Corexit." BP says the dispersants it used are "government approved and
safe when used appropriately" and that extensive testing has shown seafood
in the Gulf is safe to eat.
Dr. Sawyer Interviewed in "Dead Files" Television Episode
Former NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi, co-star of "The Dead Files"
television series, interviews Dr. Sawyer to gather toxicological information in
the hope of finding clues relating to a series of century-old arsenic suicide and
murder attempts in Erieville, New York. The case involves a mother who poisoned
her husband and three children with a traditional arsenic pesticide compound known
as "Paris Green."
Dr. Sawyer Interviewed by Lisa Myers on NBC Nightly News
NBC: Dispersants Increase Impact of Oil on Marine Life: News correspondent
Lisa Myers interviews toxicologist Dr. William R. Sawyer in an NBC Nightly News
Special Report concerning BP's use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. Evidence
suggests that dispersants injected into oil below the surface liberate toxic hydrocarbons
which remain suspended and persist in the water, adversely impacting marine life.
Dr. Sawyer Interviewed Concerning Government Interference in Oil Spill Investigation
Scientists Unsettled by Calls From Federal Commission: Some independent
scientists who have been looking into oil spill contamination in the Gulf of Mexico
said they have received some unsettling phone calls from the federal government.
The calls came from attorneys on behalf of the National Oil Spill Commission. The
scientists said the questions seemed designed to cast doubts on their findings.
Although government officials subsequently claimed that they were merely "reaching
out" with the intent of inviting Dr. Sawyer to serve on the Presidential Commission,
this was not communicated to Dr Sawyer or to other scientists who received similar
calls from attorneys.
Dr. Sawyer Interviewed Concerning Safety of Gulf Seafood
Scientists Question Thoroughness of Gulf Seafood Testing: Toxicological
expert Dr. William R. Sawyer was asked whether safety claims could be backed up
with testing performed to date. Some independent scientists are expressing concerns
that the Gulf seafood testing falls short of being thorough — even though
government officials have said the seafood is safe to eat.
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