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Gulf Oil Spill
Wed June 30, 2010
EPA Tests Show Chemical Dispersants Less Toxic Than Oil
By Eileen Fleming
New Orleans, La. – EPA spokesman Paul Anastas says that tests show eight dispersants that were tested are all about equally toxic. He says it appears that the product BP is using is not sinking to the bottom or floating in the water column. But the chemicals were not tested in combination with oil. He says those results could take weeks. BP was ordered in May to find a less-toxic product, but the company said nothing was available in the amounts it needed. BP has been spraying chemicals on the oil from above as well as pumping it directly on the oil as it gushes from the well. Anastas says it appears the chemicals break up oil within weeks in warmer water on the surface, and within weeks or month in colder water below.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.