26 Apr '15, 1pm

Dispersants sprayed after Deepwater Horizon oil spill more toxic than oil alone

Dispersants sprayed after Deepwater Horizon oil spill more toxic than oil alone

Corals exposed to higher concentrations of dispersant, alone or mixed with oil, had the greatest health declines. In some cases the corals even appeared to do best in the oil-only treatments. We are still trying to fully understand the extent of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago, one of the worst environmental disasters in US history. Following the Macondo well explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, five million barrels of oil were spilled in the deep-sea. In an attempt to avoid spills reaching coastlines, BP and government agencies sprayed over two million liters of oil dispersants - chemicals that break oil into small droplets - at depth for the first time in these conditions. The impact of the oil spill was readily apparent on Gulf communities and the coastal and shallow ecosystems, yet the effects on deep-water communities...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2845352/di...

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