Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Dispersant and Oil Mixture Is Toxic to Plankton

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Dispersant and Oil Mixture Is Toxic to Plankton

Article excerpt

During the cleanup of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 2 million gallons of dispersants were used to help keep the oil from fouling the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. Dispersants also make oil droplets small enough that they are bioavailable to microscopic organisms at the bottom of the food chain.

Investigators now report that crude oil mixed with Corexit 9500A[R] dispersant at concentrations recommended for use in spills was 27-52 times more toxic to plankton than either crude oil or dispersant alone. (6) However, tests of the concentration of Corexit 9500A actually used at the Deepwater Horizon spill produced no excess toxicity. This study is one of the first to look at the synergistic toxicity of oil and dispersant.

* REFERENCES

(1.) EPA. EPA Recommends New Recreational Water Quality Criteria to Better Protect Public Health [press release]. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (26 Nov 2012). Available: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/9AE00CDEF4FCBB9B85257AC20067E738 [accessed 11 Dec 2012].

(2.) CDC. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs): Data & Statistics [website]. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (updated 29 Mar 2012). …

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