Spreading the Toxins

Contract employees with BP America, Inc. load an oil containment boom onto a work boat at Naval Air Station Pensacola to assist in oil recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.© U.S. Navy

Worries about the failure of the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico include fears about the chemical dispersants BP is using. A post on Mother Jones explains that the chemicals—which will break the oil into smaller parts that can then sink and biodegrade—may in fact produce a "toxic soup."

So far, according to the article, 308,885 gallons of this dispersant have been spread over the spill, and the true contents of these compounds are not being released. What is known is that the dispersant contains 2-butoxyethanol which "can cause headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses."

SOURCE: Mother Jones.