Oily Oops: Touted Dispersants Worsened Effects of Gulf Oil Spill

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A study conducted by the University of Georgia has found that the Corexit oil dispersant lauded by British Petroleum during the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill not only failed to perform as expected, but may have formed deposits on the seafloor in a chemically altered condition. The naturally occurring proliferation of a particular species of bacteria (marinobacters) that eats untreated oil was completely curtailed when the spill was replaced with dispersed oil.

This could be a worst-case scenario, because marine life would continue to be exposed to it over many years, if not decades.

According to the report Environmental and Health Impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Spill, “As compared with only oil, Corexit-laden oil is four times more lethal; dispersed oil is 10 times more deadly than the dispersant alone.”

The Center for Biological Diversity reports, “One of the dispersants used at the BP spill, Corexit 9527A, contains the toxin 2-butoxyethanol, which may cause injury to red blood cells, kidneys or the liver with repeated or excessive exposure.” Many nations have since outlawed the use of dispersants in their territorial waters in response to these revelations.

Read the report at Tinyurl.com/BP-Oil-Spill-Report.

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