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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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Deepwater Horizon Chemical Dispersants 52 Times More Toxic than Oil

Deepwater Horizon Chemical Dispersants 52 Times More Toxic than Oil

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is widely considered one of, if not the, worst environmental disasters in history. Around 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, polluting vast swathes of the ocean and local beaches, and proving deadly to much of the marine life in the region.

After 3 months the leak was officially halted and clean-up to this day continues, and the Gulf slowly returns to its former self.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA) have discovered that the chemical dispersants used to treat the oil and break it down have actually increased the toxicity of the oil by as much as 52 times.

Over two million gallons of dispersants have been released to mix with the oil in attempts to break up the oil slicks and clean up the ocean. However tests have found that the mixed oil and chemical dispersant fluid vastly increase the mortality rates of rotifers, the microscopic, plankton-like animals that form the base of the Gulf’s food chain.

Related Article: Top Ten Costs of the BP Oil Spill that won't be Covered by the $4.5 Billion Fine

Roberto Rico Martinez of the UAA said that, “dispersants are preapproved to help clean up oil spills and are widely used during disasters. But we have a poor understanding of their toxicity. Our study indicates the increase in toxicity may have been greatly underestimated following the Macondo well explosion.”

Martinez and the other scientists involved in the study hope that further investigation into the effects of the dispersants on the oil and marine life should be carried out in order to understand and manage future oil spills more effectively.

Terry Snell, the chair of the School of Biology, said that, “what remains to be determined is whether the benefits of dispersing the oil by using Corexit are outweighed by the substantial increase in toxicity of the mixture. Perhaps we should allow the oil to naturally disperse. It might take longer, but it would have less toxic impact on marine ecosystems.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • Barbara on December 06 2012 said:
    Yes, I do have something to say.!!! Tell those people who are in that area to move out. Get the people in there to get their belongings and fine another area that is free of contamination to save what they have left of their health. The Gov. should condemn that area and have the people move inland more,out of harms way.Tell them the blasted truth. Gov. should help them monetary way to move, and start a new way of life. They will be in need of jobs. Which obama has not come through. And I really don't think he cares at all. The UN is out to have alot of us die. Well people it us up to us to help one another---forget the Gov. they won't be there. They are nothing but hot air.Look at NY and NJ.!! The media has stopped reporting on them have you noticed anything. THINK!!!
  • Art Clemens on December 06 2012 said:
    Online MSDS sheets are missing the poisons within Corexit read by Governor Ventura at the actual spill site. I notice the online MSDS list propylene glycol which is used as a food additive, but the common poisons shown by Ventura are now omitted and the words: Organic sulfonic acid salt (proprietary) are used.

    The Valdez disaster was the trial run for Corexit:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/warning-to-gulf-cleanup-workers-almost-every-crew-member-from-the-1989-exxon-valdez-disaster-is-now-dead-2010-6

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpoL4cfO_sM

    Ventura tell it like it is. This is merely part of a bigger plan to contribute to our demise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LHAh-eTUtY

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