Toxicology in the News

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:

Quick Reference


Dr. Sawyer Cited in UK Newspaper Regarding Hydrocarbon Contamination of Marine Life

UK Independent 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.

Chemicals used to disperse Gulf of Mexico spill blamed for marine deaths and human illness
Chemicals used to disperse the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are blamed for marine deaths and human illness. [a]

Read the full article at UK Independent News (Saturday, April 13, 2013)


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."

Source: Dr. Sawyer in "Dead Files: Evil in Erieville," © Copyright 2011 The Travel Channel, LLC[b]

If you cannot view the video, click on any of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player

Dr. Sawyer in Dead Files: Evil in Erieville
Dr. Sawyer in "Dead Files: Evil in Erieville," © Copyright 2011 The Travel Channel, LLC [b]

Source: September 23, 2011, Travel Channel


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.

Source: July 30, 2010, NBC Nightly News, © Copyright 2010 NBC News.[c]

If you cannot view the video, click on any of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player

Dr. Sawyer Interviewed by Lisa Myers on NBC Nightly News

Source: July 30, 2010, NBC Nightly News, © Copyright 2010 NBC News.[c]

If you cannot view the video, click on any of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player


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.

Source: September 16, 2010, Eyewitness News, WWLTV, © Copyright 2010 WWLTV.[d]

If you cannot view the video, click on one of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player

Scientists Unsettled by Calls From Federal Commission

Source: September 16, 2010, Eyewitness News, WWLTV, © Copyright 2010 WWLTV.[d]

If you cannot view the video, click on one of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player


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.

Source: September 20, 2010, Maya Rodriguez, Eyewitness News, WWLTV, © Copyright 2010 WWLTV.[e]

If you cannot view the video, click on any of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player

Scientists Question Thoroughness of Gulf Seafood Testing

Source: September 20, 2010, Maya Rodriguez, Eyewitness News, WWLTV, © Copyright 2010 WWLTV.[e]

If you cannot view the video, click on any of the links below:
Windows Media Player    Quicktime Player


Images and Videos

  1. Image and content are © Copyright 2013 UK Independent News
  2. Images and media are © Copyright 2011 The Travel Channel, LLC
  3. Images and media are © Copyright 2010 NBC Nightly News
  4. Images and media are © Copyright 2010 Eyewitness News, WWLTV
  5. Images and media are © Copyright 2010 Eyewitness News, WWLTV

A Message from Dr. William R. Sawyer
Chief Toxicologist, TCAS, LLC

A message from Dr. William R. Sawyer, Expert Toxicologist

"Toxicology is a complex discipline. Focus and clarity are extremely important when communicating with the media. Information must be presented simply and concisely to avoid misunderstandings."

 Home   |  Experience  |  Toxic Substances  |  Case Studies  |  CV  |  News  |  About  |  Site Map  |  Contact
Toxic Exposures  |  Environmental Testing  |  Risk Assessment  |  Forensic Toxicology  |  Causation Evaluation
Dioxin  |  LNAPL  |  Hazardous Substances  |  Heavy Metals  |  Alcohol Toxicology  |  Drugs of Abuse
Environmental Hazards  |  Industrial Chemicals  |  Hydrocarbons  |  Metals & Compounds  |  Pesticides
Pharmaceutical Toxicology  |  Consumer Products  |  Human Health Risk Assessments

This is an informational and instructional website devoted to toxicology. It presents both original and edited public-domain content compiled as a useful educational resource. References and footnotes have been included wherever possible and image sources have been cited where appropriate. Although most pages can be printed or downloaded as PDF files (and we encourage you to make constructive use of our information), this website is copyrighted and material may only be reproduced and/or distributed with prior permission from TCAS, LLC.