In April 2010, oil tanker Deep Horizon spilled over 650 million liters of oil in the gulf of New Mexico. The outcome of this ecological disaster could not be measured up in simple numbers. After the disaster, in an attempt to counter the toxic influence of petroleum, BP decided to spray oil dispersants over the affected area. According to a study, BP’s dispersant was ineffective against oil spill.
Normally, the outcome of such of an event can only be described as being catastrophic. Numerous species of aquatic life forms were affected by the toxic effects of the petroleum. Bu the worst is still to come!
Recent research into the matter have come up with a more disturbing fact. It seem that the dispersing agent used to counter the effects of petroleum, by the name of Corexit 9500, was proven be more toxic than the oil spill itself.
According to the published by a couple of scientists, from the University of Georgia, the dispersing agent is determining the oil to sink even further into the ocean. When the two compounds are combined, it forms an even toxic substance.
The same paper states that the wildlife is more affected by Corexit 9500 than by the original oil spillage. Scientists explain that wildlife mortality has increased to nearly 52 percent in the region. Due to the fact that the dispersing agent breaks down the oily mass into small plaques, it makes easier for wildlife to ingest the substance.
The general idea of the actions taken by BP was to help the bacteria inhabiting the ocean to eat out the oil that floated on the surface. Contrary to their beliefs, the effect of endeavor has proven to be more noxious to the ocean flora and fauna than the petroleum.
In order to generate a working hypothesis, the team of scientists tested out water samples. A part of them contained petroleum and the rest contained a mixture of oil and dispersant agent. Nearly 50000 bacteria, endemic to the Gulf of Mexico, were tested to see how they behave in such an environment. In each case, the result would remain the same.
The bacteria were unable to eat out the oil droplets. Moreover, it seems that the effect of the new intermix seems to be cumulative. The substance itself is building up on the ocean’s surface, poisoning nearby flora and fauna.
When faced with scientific facts, representatives from BP remained silent, saying afterwards that they thought they were doing the good thing.