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Florida tar balls not from BP oil spill, according to Coast Guard lab

The US Coast Guard released a report Wednesday that says tar balls that have washed up on Florida beaches are not a result of the BP oil spill.

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From the BP oil spill? Tar balls retrieved Monday from Fort Zachary State Park in Key West, Fla., are shown in this Monday, May 17, 2010 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found off Key West on Monday, but said a lab analysis would have to determine their origin. Tar balls can occur naturally or come from other sources such as ships.

AP Photo/ U.S. Coast Guard

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The Coast Guard says tar balls that floated ashore in the Florida Keys aren't linked to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

A report released Wednesday says tests by a Coast Guard laboratory in New London, Conn., show the tar balls don't match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. The source of the tar balls isn't known. Tar balls can occur naturally or come from other sources such as ships.

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Twenty were found Monday and several others Tuesday.

Government scientists who surveyed the Gulf on Tuesday said tendrils of light oil were near or already in a powerful current that could take it to Florida. The loop current circulates in the Gulf and takes water south to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream. But most oil remains dozens of miles away from the current.

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