BP Oil Dispersants

May 15, 2010 BP Oil is using chemical dispersants in large volumes in the Gulf of Mexico but is this worse than the oil spill? Chemicals such as oil dispersants only allow the oil to sink to the bottom of the ocean they do not dissolve the oil.

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In addition these chemical dispersants are still toxic to humans, wildlife and fish.
The spill response has been a failure and the oil dispersants decision was made without thought of the pollution these chemicals cause with the oil mixture and the intended use is actually hiding the oil spill problem not resolving the damage of the oil leak.

What are Chemical Dispersants

The chemical dispersants are made up of two compounds which are a solvent and a surfactant. The dispersants are sprayed on to an oil slick where the solvent carries a sufactant into the oil. However it is well known that dispersants have a very small effect on floating oil and can stop being effective as the area of the oil spill requires a greater amount of these chemical dispersants with little success in cleaning the oil out of the water. The oil becomes a glob and sinks to the bottom of the ocean where it still endangers sea beds of shrimp and other sea animals. In essence it creates a toxic mess and the results are less than desired.

The Type 1 dispersant is a hydrocarbon solvent sprayed onto the oil at the surface of the water in the Gulf. Another type 3 dispersant is made up of alcohol and glycol in a higher concentration and both types require mixing with the oil after application.

Applications of Dispersants

The method of applying dispersants can be executed by boats that spray the chemicals equipped with pumps. Aerial spraying from planes or helicopters is also used and shoreline application used to remove the oil on rocks, sea walls and structures.

The environmental impact of BP Oil’s dispersants will not remove the oil it will sink it to the bottom where out of sight is out of mind. In shallow waters near the shoreline higher concentration of the chemicals will stay for longer periods of time

Many ecologists do not agree with using great amounts of these chemicals due to the damage to the wild life, sea birds, fish, oysters, and the spawning cycle which affects the fishing industry in four states. This affects dophins, pelicans, herons, and other wildlife that inhabit the Gulf. The toxicity level of the Gulf now after the oil spill on April 20, 2010 will certainly be damaged for a lifetime.

BP oil received approval for this chemical attack on the oil spill from the US government agency the EPA -Environmental Protection Agency and it was the wrong decision. However desperate this mess has become, adding more chemicals to the toxic mess will increase the negative impact on the eco system of the Gulf of Mexico.

The 6,000 square miles of open waters in the Gulf are affected by the explosion and oil leak is still threatening the US economy of Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Florida. The oil slick is a threat in itself and what is worse is the oil that is not visable and this is the tip of the iceberg. The total amount of oil spilling could reach 50 million gallons and the toxic plume and the government has not initiated an adequate sampling of how much oil is in the Gulf today.

Millions of organisms have already died as a result of the spill including plankton that fish eat, and this will surely result in the death of fish in the Gulf with a lifetime impact.
The authorities were not prepared, BP Oil and other oil companies are not prepared to deal with with residents say this is basically negligence and a duty of care was not a priority. BP should put more response request in tackling the oil on the surface and the US government must rethink oil drilling offshore to its coastline as the thirst for oil drives more drilling.

If the US government is using intelligent energy resources -off shore drilling must end. The 5,000 barrels was not correctly reported and it could be as much as 84,000 barrels a day. Any gain that offshore drilling by BP Oil has provided in the way of profits is now being spent on cleaning up the spill and the environmental impact which is unknown.

It appears the EPA is not protecting the environment -at all.

TAGS: BP Oil Dispersants, energy resources, offshore drilling, type 1 dispersants, type 2 dispersants, oil dispersants, chemcial dispersants, application of dispersants, what are dispersants, oil dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico, ecological damage of dispersants, EPA.

More details on the Environmental Protection Agency but there is a lack of real details on the composition of these oil dispersants and what quantity is being authorized and used in the Gulf.

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