Posts Tagged ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Oil Dispersant—Next Food Safety Issue?

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

We hardly had time to breathe a sigh of relief that the oil well was capped before the next issue surfaced. Tiny droplets of oil combined with an oil dispersant chemical have been found in the food chain.

Here’s what happened. Over 2 million gallons of oil dispersant were used to dissipate surface oil slicks from Deepwater Horizon. Unfortunately, the dispersant didn’t magically make the oil disappear. Instead, it broke the oil into tiny droplets that remain suspended underwater. The size of the droplets, along with the chemical properties of the dispersant, may make the combination more toxic than oil alone. Scientists are concerned that the blend can more easily penetrate cell walls, skin, and membranes. Those fears are being fanned by the fact that most gulf coast crab larvae—which are a food source for other marine life—now test positive for oil dispersant. Click here to read more