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The dispersant used to remediate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is more toxic to cold-water corals than the spilled oil, according to a study conducted at Temple University. The study comes on the eve of the spill’s fifth anniversary, April 20.
Researchers from Temple and the Pennsylvania State University exposed three cold-water coral species from the Gulf to various concentrations of the dispersant and to oil from the Deepwater Horizon well. They found that the dispersant is toxic to the corals at lower concentrations than the oil.
Their findings, “Response of Deep-Water Corals to Oil and Chemical Dispersant Exposure,” were published online in the journal Deep-Sea Research II.