There’s an old saying in legal circles that the cover-up is always much worse than the initial crime. It’s hard to say if that is exactly true with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 — after all, the initial explosion killed 11 workers and caused roughly 5 million barrels of oil to spew into the rich marine environment. But the core of the ensuing cover-up carried out by BP with the blessing of the federal government — the massive, unprecedented spraying of a toxic chemical called Corexit in the hope that pushing the oil out of sight would also put it out of mind — was a catastrophe in and of itself.
Never before had so much dispersant — some 1.8 million gallons — been deployed, and never was so much sprayed at the bottom of the sea floor, where its impact has never been studied. Immediately, clean-up and recovery workers blamed the dispersant for an array of illnesses, while researchers speculated that so much Corexit in the food chain could have major impact on marine life — and the seafood that you eat.
Recently, scientists in Alabama came up with a new protocol for studying how the dispersant deployed after the BP spill may have affected the food chain in the Gulf. They pumped water from the area near Mobile into 53-gallon drums, them compared the results between control barrels and barrels with dispersant in roughly the proportions sprayed in 2010. Their findings are disturbing.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A study on possible effects of the 2010 BP oil spill indicates dispersants may have killed plankton — some of the ocean’s tiniest plants and creatures — and disrupted the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation’s richest seafood grounds.
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