Dispersant from Deepwater Horizon spill found to persist in the environment

July 16, 2014 9:17 PM

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The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest accidental release of oil into the ocean, with approximately 210 million gallons gushing from the blown out well. In an attempt to prevent vast quantities of oil from fouling beaches and marshes, BP applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant to oil released in the subsurface and to oil slicks at the sea surface. The dispersant was thought to rapidly degrade in the environment.

A new study by scientists at Haverford College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that the dispersant compound DOSS, which decreases the size of oil droplets and hampers the formation of large oil slicks, remains associated with oil and can persist in the environment for up to...

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