Last year saw the worst oil spill disaster in US history when BP’s Deepwater Horizon deep sea drilling rig exploded and the wellhead started gushing out crude oil by thousands of gallons. At that time, the immediate concern was to have an effective oil spill response that would contain the oil spill and limit the damage to the environment. As part of the oil spill cleanup huge quantities of dispersants were used to contain the Gulf oil leak, both on the surface as well as deep underwater near the wellhead.
Although the immediate danger had been taken care of, a new and equally disturbing concern has cropped up in the form of the dispersants used in the oil spill cleanup. According to a study, the dispersants injected deep in the water to counter the oil gusher, still linger underwater, raising concerns of long-term problems. Scientists have conducted field tests on the oil spill dispersants to determine the biodegradation rate and results show that the rate is quite slow. In some cases, it is seen that it is the oil that breaks down quickly than the dispersant.
This fact has brought to light several concerns regarding oil spill dispersants. They contain harmful chemicals that leave behind a witch’s brew of other potentially dangerous chemicals after interacting with crude oil in water. The threat to human health and marine environment will have long term effects, in health and in lifestyle. With the Gulf oil toxic dispersants moving around deep underwater, the marine ecosystem in the Gulf is in a very critical state.
All these problems could have been avoided by using appropriate oil spill cleanup techniques. Using a biodegradable dispersant is the most apt choice as it is unlikely to linger on and affect the environment. Oil Gone Easy Marine S-200 is one such biodegradable oil spill cleaner that clears oil spills using bioremediation, bringing back the environment to its naturally pristine state.
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