As if oil wasn’t bad enough

Toxins in oil dispersants affect animals

The Center for Biological Diversity recently announced its plan to sue the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard after the agencies authorized the use of oil dispersants in Alaska without studying the effect on endangered wildlife, according to a CBD press release.

The CBD specifically noted that Cook Inlet beluga whales, Steller sea lions and polar bears in the area are already suffering from habitat loss and pollution, and the chemical dispersants used to break up crude oil after a spill can have a greater negative effect on wildlife than the oil itself. Studies show that dispersed oil can damage birds’ feathers and make them susceptible to hypothermia, and is toxic to corals and fish eggs.

The CBD also cited the Deepwater Horizon explosion, saying that federal agencies made a mistake by dumping 2 million gallons of dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico without first conducting an impact study on the area’s wildlife.