Environmental toxicologists are now saying that the oil dispersants being sprayed on the oil slick may be more detrimental to the Gulf environment than the oil itself. If that’s true, it may turn out to be a much bigger problem than anybody knows at present. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of a concoction – a mix of chemicals collectively known as “dispersant” – have already been dropped in the Gulf to try to break up the oozing oil, allowing it to decompose more quickly or evaporate before washing ashore. Unfortunately, nobody really knows what the short range and lasting effects of the chemicals used will be. In fact, the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has become the testing ground for a new technique where a potent mix of chemicals is shot deep undersea in an effort to stop oil from reaching the surface.
Scientists have been hurriedly weighing the ecological risks and benefits of using the chemicals. Only time will tell how bad the effects from the chemicals will be. Hopefully, the impact won’t be as great as some fear it will be. But there is every indication that this will be a major area of concern. In fact, it could be worse in the long haul than the oil itself, and if so that will be very bad.
Source: Associated Press
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