May 6, 2010 – In struggling to deal with one of the worst oil spill disasters in U.S. history, BP is simultaneously conducting a massive experiment with chemical dispersants. To date, the company and federal officials have sprayed nearly 200,000 gallons of chemical dispersant on the water’s surface and pumped an additional 6,000 gallons directly onto the leak.
The decision to apply dispersants in these situations is a controversial one, as the risk may outweigh the potential reward. Scientists calculate that it is better to have the ocean filled with low concentrations of the dispersant chemicals – which, by themselves are mild to moderately toxic poisons – than to have dense oil on the surface or washing up onshore.
And while it is commonly accepted that the dispersants are a necessary evil to combat such disasters, many question the industry’s policy of keeping their chemical makeup a secret. Guarding the exact chemical mix makes it exceedingly difficult to evaluate the risks to marine ecosystems and to know what side effects to look at as the crisis unfolds.
In fact, the Corexit dispersant that is being used in the Gulf spill was rescinded in Britain a decade ago because tests found it to be harmful to sea life that inhabits rocky shores. The amount of dispersant used in the disaster to date is now greater than the entire stockpile kept by most oil-producing nations.
As the molecules from the dispersant bind with those from the oil spill and fan out across the gulf, many are demanding more information about the product’s composition.
“We flew over there and saw BP spraying all over the place,” said Frederic Hauge, head of the international environment group Bellona, based in Oslo, Norway. “We deserve to know what’s in there.”
Do I have an Oil Spill Lawsuit?
The Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in environmental catastrophe lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation throughout the Gulf Coast and currently accepting new oil spill cases in all affected states.
If you or somebody you know has suffered an economic loss related to your Gulf Coast business or coastal property, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an oil spill lawsuit and we can help. We are currently accepting cases and/or claims in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.