Oil dispersant used in spill cleanup has toxic consequences

The dispersant chemicals used to clean up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have done just as much harm to the ocean as they did good. The Government Accountability Office recently reported that scientists have significant gaps in their understanding of how these chemicals affect marine life, and will likely not know for years to come.

The main chemical BP used to disperse the oil was called Corexit, a mixture of 57 chemicals made by an Illinois company named Nalco. Companies are not allowed to use Corexit to clean oil spills in the waters of Canada and the United Kingdom. It was chosen for BP’s spill because Nalco was the only company who could provide the necessary amount of dispersant quickly enough.

The BP oil spill was the first time a chemical dispersant was pumped down to such great depths. When Corexit reacts with oil, it creates a substance that is more toxic than either chemical individually, potentially contaminating the water deep in the ocean, where currents could carry it just about anywhere in the world.

The true extent of the consequences of the Gulf oil spill and the immediate responses to it are perhaps more far-reaching than anyone could have previously imagined. If the oil spill has had an effect on your business, livelihood, or health, contact the oil spill attorneys of Williams Hart at 800-821-1544.

BP oil spill contributed to loss of Louisiana marshes

A University of Florida researcher has published a study that measured the 2010 BP oil spill’s impact on marshlands in Louisiana. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded by a $200,000 grant pulled from a $500 million research fund provided by BP after the spill.

Brian Silliman and his team have been studying the marshes since July of 2010, three months after the spill.  They found that the 45-mile stretch of oil-exposed marshes eroded more rapidly than those that weren’t exposed. Once marshland is lost, it cannot be restored.

The marshes play a vital role in Louisiana’s aquatic ecosystems and fishing industry.

Two years after the accident, the oil spill’s far-reaching consequences may still not be fully understood. If the oil spill has caused you to lose business or has ruined your land, contact the Gulf oil spill property damage lawyers of Williams Hart at 800-821-1544.

BP spill residue found on pelicans in Minnesota

Researchers at North Dakota State University and Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources have found evidence of oil spill residue on the eggs of pelicans nesting at the state’s Marsh Lake.

The lake serves as the largest colony for American White Pelicans in North America. These pelicans migrate from the northern region of the United States to the Gulf of Mexico in September, where they are found as far away as Cuba.

The researchers are most worried about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, the primary constituent of oil. This substance is known to cause cancer and birth defects in animals. They are also concerned about Corexit, the chemical that was used to disperse oil slicks on the ocean’s surface.

The study found petroleum compounds on 90 percent of the eggs of the first batch tested. Corexit was present on 80 percent of the batch. With such overwhelming results in these initial tests, the environmental impact of the BP oil spill cannot be denied.

Tar found on Texas beaches linked to oil spill

According to authorities, tar balls have washed up on Texas shores which can be traced back to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Coast Guard and state officials have said that the roughly five gallons of tar that washed up on beaches in Galveston County originated from the Macondo Prospect, off the coast of Louisiana.

Galveston County is located approximately 400 miles from the source of the oil spill, and many initial projections held that it would take much longer for the spill to affect Texas. Captain Marcus Woodring of the Coast Guard said authorities were unsure how the tar traveled so far, but tests conducted Saturday confirmed that it was indeed from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

As of Tuesday, the beaches remain open, although authorities are concerned about the ramifications the hurricane season could have on an already serious environmental disaster.

If your property has been damaged as the result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, please contact the Texas oil spill attorneys of Williams Hart today by calling 800-821-1544.





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