EPA: Dispersants no more toxic than oil

Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Results of toxicity testing on dispersants used in the gulf oil spill found them no more toxic than the oil they disperse, U.S. officials say.

The Environmental Protection Agency published peer-reviewed results from the second phase of its independent toxicity testing on mixtures of eight oil dispersants, an agency release said Monday.

The dispersant used by BP in response to the oil spill in the gulf, Corexit 9500A, when mixed with oil, is generally no more or less toxic than mixtures with the other available alternatives, the report said.

The results indicate dispersant-oil mixtures are generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone.

"EPA has committed to following the science at every stage of this response -- that's why we required BP to launch a rigorous dispersant monitoring program, why we directed BP to analyze potential alternatives and why EPA undertook this independent analysis of dispersant products," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said.

While there has been almost no dispersant use since the well was capped July 15 -- only 200 gallons were applied July 19 -- EPA's environmental monitoring continues, the agency said.

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