Chemicals Used To Contain Oil Spill Could Harm Marine Life
The environmental consequences of controlling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could be disastrous to marine life. According to an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition on Tuesday, the chemicals being used to break up the oil slick have toxic side effects.
Morning Edition host, Steve Inskeep and NPR’s environmental reporter, Elizabeth Shogren, talked about the methods that BP is using to reduce the oil spill from spreading. Aside from using “vaccum-like” equipment to suck up the oil and burning it off from the surface, BP has been using dispersant chemicals that according to environmentalists, could hurt life in the Gulf.
The chemicals have been applied to the oil spill through the air and beneath the surface, at the well head. The chemicals have the ability to break up the oil into particles than then sink to the bottom of the sea. Environmentalists are concerned that the chemicals themselves could hurt tuna larvae and other sensitive water life.
BP has been trying new methods, some never tested before, to control the underwater gush, which has been spilling 5,000 barrels of oil a day since April 20, when the oil rig exploded.