August 2, 2010
More than 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants have been used in the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest use of these types of chemicals in U.S. history. However, a Texas Tech University researcher said dispersing the oil could cause more problems than leaving the oil alone.
Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University, compared the heavy use of the dispersants to pouring mineral spirits on a puddle of oil on a garage floor. Though the oil is dispersed, it isn’t removed. Instead, it becomes thinner, more easily moved around and harder to mop up. The affected area becomes larger as well.