bp oil spill

Topics: Petroleum, Exxon Valdez oil spill, Ecosystem Pages: 2 (502 words) Published: March 9, 2014
(NaturalNews) It's true the almost five million barrels of oil that contaminated the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was an ecological nightmare. And residents of the area have complained for the last two years that the chemicals dumped into the area as an ill-thought-out solution have made many of them sick. But what about the ocean itself that has been treated as an experimental chemical dump by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and corporate giant BP? Turns out, according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA) in Mexico, the two million gallons of the dispersant Corexit which the EPA dictated had to be used to supposedly clean up the oil spill made the situation worse -- far worse. In fact, the chemicals turned the situation into nothing less than a 52 times more toxic ecological disaster. "Dispersants are preapproved to help clean up oil spills and are widely used during disasters," UAA's Roberto-Rico Martinez, who led the study, said in a media statement. "But we have a poor understanding of their toxicity. Our study indicates the increase in toxicity may have been greatly underestimated following the Macondo well explosion." in toxicity tests in the lab, the mix of the chemicals which the EPA demanded must be used on the spill and the oil itself greatly increased the death rate of five strains of rotifers, a microscopic grazing animal that is key to the gulf's food chain. Because of their fast response time and sensitivity to toxins, rotifers are considered one of the "gold standards" by ecotoxicologists (scientists who study the toxic impact of chemicals on ecological systems) to assess toxicity in marine life. Not only did the oil and chemical mix kill adult rotifers, it only took about 2.6 percent of the oil-dispersant mixture to reduce rotifer egg hatching by 50 percent. Why is this crucial to the ecosystem of the oceans? Because these eggs hatch into...
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