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Dispersants: More Harm than Good?

May 17th, 2010 by flanews

To help keep the oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico off the shore, BP is using a mixture of chemicals known as dispersant. The chemicals break apart the oil, sending it falling to the seafloor instead of floating on the surface. As Whitney Ray tells us, fishermen, environmentalists and marine biologists fear the dispersant may be killing more sea life than the oil, but BPs CEO says theyll keep using the chemicals.

300-thousand gallons of chemical dispersant have been pumped near the oil leak in the gulf. The chemical concoction has kept much of the oil from floating to the surface. But Jack Rudloe, a marine biologist and author several books on sea life says BP needs to stop using he chemicals immediately.

I would rather be dealing with large clumps of oil that can be physically removed than little teensy droplets, said Rudloe.

The dispersant works like dish soap; breaking apart grease so it can be easily washed away. But much like soap, its harmful to fish and animals.

This soap is going down the drain and into the sewer where it will eventually be purified. Not so with the dispersant; its floating to the bottom of the seafloor.

What we are talking about is throwing soap into the sea, any which way we want to do it. Weve been saying for years dont pollute, dont put detergents out there, dont wash your dog in the salt water in the sea, because its not a good for the environment, said Rudloe.

The CEO of BP, Tony Hayward met with Governor Charlie Crist Monday. Hayward says BP has no plans to stop using the chemicals at this time. But they are monitoring them.

There are the best scientists from EPA, from NOAA and BP, ensuring that the application of the dispersant is doing the right thing, not the wrong thing, said Hayward.

The dispersant is banned in state waters, but thats only the first ten miles from the coast. And the tide could bring whats already been used to the shore

Posted in Environment, Health, Oil Drilling, State News, Wildlife | No Comments »

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