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If environmental safety was a real concern for activists, they would have been wise to consult scientific data and recently-conducted research before advocating the limitation of dispersants in the Gulf. For starters, the safety data report for COREXIT 9500 clearly states that none of the substances in the compound have been found by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to be carcinogenic. What is more, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded peer-reviewed, independent study of the toxicity of dispersants recently used in the Gulf. In a press release this month, EPA stated, “These results confirm that the dispersant used 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.” Additionally, in a report to EPA, BP stated that the COREXIT deployed was the least toxic dispersant currently available.
dispersants are chemical compounds that are sprayed from the air and settle onto the effected body of water, where they break apart oil slicks into tiny drops. This then allows water-borne bacteria to digest the oil; this feeding allows the bacteria to multiple rapidly and, thus, consume larger amounts of oil at a quickening pace.