GULF DISASTER

Has the Oil Spill Been Whitewashed?

As the government and BP both rush to claim that the worst of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is over, some scientists are sounding a warning bell by pointing to the plumes buried deep underwater and in the dispersants used to break up the oil. The effects to wildlife are still unknown, and underwater plumes could cause whole species to be wiped out. While BP has used some unconventional methods to clean up the oil, the uneven response and the lack of knowledge about the long-term effects of these methods could be just as dangerous as the spill itself. "Oil is toxic to most life. And Corexit [the dispersants used] is toxic to most life. But the most toxic of all is oil that's been treated with Corexit,” said one conservation expert. Also present in the spill was methane, which can cause dead zones where wildlife cannot survive. Another worry? The “it’s over” attitude taken by most in response to the disaster.