Maryann Tobin

Fears of scientists over the BP oil spill are becoming evidenced in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Contamination from sunken oil is covering patches of the sea floor like black toxic blankets, smothering the ecosystem and threatening its delicate balance.

Sediment around the site of the BP blowout is showing high levels of toxins, according to data sited in the Wall Street Journal. “There is no practical way to clean up the spilled oil that has settled deep in the Gulf, officials said.”

During the height of the disaster, BP’s unprecedented use of nearly 2 million gallons of chemical dispersant came under fire from the EPA and scientific community, and in early May, just two weeks after the April 20, 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon that took eleven lives and marked the beginning of the disaster, the EPA ordered BP to stop using the dispersant for fear of long term environmental damage and risks to human health.

In June, under suspicion of a media blackout on the gushing Macondo well, the EPA did a sudden reversal on the dangers of the dispersant, issuing a report that claimed BP’s chemical was as harmless as ‘dish soap.”

The EPA turnaround, say whistleblowers, came in the form of pressure from the Obama Administration and BP officials concerned about the falling stock price of the oil giant.

By June 11th, 71 oil spill cleanup workers had been hospitalized in Louisiana, due to exposure to vapors from the toxic dispersant. On June 23rd, the US Coast Guard confirmed the death of two members of the cleanup crew.

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