Canada Okays Controversial Oil Spill Agent

July 22, 2016
eral government approves use of Corexit to disperse ocean oil spills.

The Government of Canada has approved a controversial chemical used to clean up after oil spills despite claims it might actually increase toxicity of the oil.  According to an article from The Tyee, Environment Canada released regulations that listed approved chemicals for oil spills including Corexit EC 9500A, an agent that disperses and sinks the oil. Exxon reportedly developed Corexit more than 50 years ago.

According to the article, BP used nearly 2 million gallons of the chemical after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which led to numerous studies disputing the chemical’s effectiveness and raising concerns about its impact on marine life. The Clean Ocean Committee cites the chemical as “a massive threat to the fishing industry.” U.S. studies conducted after the Gulf of Mexico spill reportedly show that “action between the chemical and crude oil can make oil 52 times more toxic to planktonic marine life than oil itself.” Despite the controversy, Environment Canada calls the chemical an effective countermeasure that demonstrates high efficacy and low toxicity, according to the article.

Read the entire article here.

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