oil

Deepwater Horizon oil spill 'cleanup' made toxicity worse, study finds

Saturday, December 01, 2012 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Deepwater Horizon, oil spill, toxicity

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement
Delicious
(NaturalNews) The cleanup technique used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico actually made the spilled oil more than 50 times more toxic than doing nothing, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico. The findings were published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

Over the course of three months, 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico (although some scientists believe that the spill is likely ongoing to this day). To aid in the cleanup, the EPA ordered another two million gallons of a chemical "dispersant" known as Corexit poured into the Gulf.

"There is a synergistic interaction between crude oil and the dispersant that makes it more toxic," study co-author Terry Snell said.

The idea behind dispersants such as Corexit is that they break apart large masses of oil into tiny droplets, that then spread out over a wider area and have less of an impact in any one place. However, oil actually becomes more toxic in smaller droplets, because it is more easily absorbed into cells (bioavailable).

"Dispersants are preapproved to help clean up oil spills and are widely used during disasters," said lead researcher Roberto-Rico Martinez. "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."

Ecosystem-wide effect

The researchers performed laboratory tests in which they exposed five different strains of microscopic animals known as rotifers to either oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, or to a mix of oil from the spill with Corexit. They found that the mixture was 52 times more toxic than the oil alone.

The mixture was not just toxic to adult rotifers; in concentrations as low as 2.6 percent, the mix also reduced hatching success among rotifer eggs by 50 percent.

"The effect is specifically a toxic synergy - the sum is worse than the parts," said Ian MacDonald of Florida State University, who was not involved in the study.

The study was conducted on rotifers in part because they respond quickly and strongly to toxic chemicals, but also because they form the base of the Gulf food chain. They are eaten by shrimp, crabs, and baby fish, and a crash in their population could easily radiate all the way up to the ocean's large predators. The effect on egg-laying success is particularly troubling, the researchers noted, as it suggests longer-term impacts.

"This is a cautionary tale," Snell said.

"In this case, the Corexit is simply there to make the oil disperse and go out of sight. But out of sight doesn't mean it's safe in regard to the food web."

In the future, Snell said, it would probably be less damaging to let oil spills disperse naturally.

"It's hard to sit by and not do something," Snell said. "But in this case, doing something actually made it more toxic."

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130110518.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/028974_Corexit_dispersants.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/029030_Gulf_of_Mexico_oil_spill.html
http://www.livescience.com
http://www.medicaldaily.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.