|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Indeed, PhD toxicologist Ricki Ott noted in a New York Times Op Ed that dispersants like Corexit can persist in the ocean for decades:[Dispersants] can linger in the water for decades, especially when used in deep water, where low temperatures can inhibit biodegradation.Some experts have also said that the use of Corexit has prolonged by decades the presence of toxic crude oil, because the dispersant sinks the oil beneath the ocean surface, where it cannot be quickly broken down by sun, waves and microbes.
And the head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Ecology Department - Terry Hazen - argues that the use of dispersants can delay recovery of ocean ecosystems by decades:Hazen has more than 30 years experience studying the effects of oil spills. He says the oil will be damaging enough; toxic dispersants will just make it worse. He points to the 1978 Amoco Cadiz Spill off the coast of Normandy as an example. He says areas where dispersants were used still have not fully recovered, while areas where there was no human intervention are now fine.
As Hazen has noted:"The untreated coastal areas were fully recovered within five years of the Amoco Cadiz spill," says Hazen. "As for the treated areas, ecological studies show that 30 years later, those areas still have not recovered."Admittedly, chemicals other than Corexit were used in the Amoco Cadiz spill. But the precautionary tale still holds: chemicals should not be applied to oil spills unless scientists are positive that they will provide a net long-term benefit.
Disturbingly, Corexit is apparently still being sprayed in the Gulf. See this, this and this