Washington (CNN) - Health threats from the Gulf oil disaster could last for years, and officials lack knowledge on how long chemicals in the spilled oil and dispersants will remain toxic, health experts told a Senate committee Tuesday.
At the same hearing, a Food and Drug Administration official said seafood from the Gulf of Mexico available to consumers in stores and restaurants now is safe.
"We are confident that Gulf of Mexico seafood that is in the market today is safe to eat," said Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner of the FDA.
The hearing by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee looked at steps taken so far to monitor and deal with health issues, and what the longer-term threats and effects may be.
Updated: 4:48 p.m.