Stop Using Untested Chemicals in the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

Target: Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Stop the use of toxic chemical oil dispersants until further testing has been completed to ensure their safety

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the most devastating environmental disasters in recent memory. Human, animal and environmental health all suffered greatly in the aftermath of the spill. Government agencies are still struggling to undo some of the massive damage that was incurred, but not all of the methods they have been using are proven to be safe. Chemical dispersants, compounds used to break up oil spills into droplets small enough for microorganisms to consume, have been dumped into the Gulf at unprecedented rates. These chemicals have been approved by the EPA for use in oil spill responses, but they have not been subject to thorough testing to make sure they don’t cause additional harm to the areas where they’re being distributed. Further scientific testing is still needed before we continue to flood the Gulf with these chemicals.

More than 2 million gallons of chemical dispersants have already been used to clean up the Deepwater Horizon disaster. That’s an unprecedented quantity of these powerful chemicals–and scientists aren’t yet sure how the dispersants will affect the local ecosystems. The toxins contained in the chemicals could easily accumulate in the marine food web, wash up on beaches or encourage the spread of underwater oil plumes. These chemicals may even be linked to the many dead dolphins that have been washing up on beaches near the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf oil spill desperately needs to be cleaned up, but not by using untested chemicals that might make the situation even worse for local marine wildlife. The EPA needs to test these chemicals and make sure they aren’t hazardous to human or animal health before continuing to use them. Demand more stringent tests for oil dispersants by signing the petition below.


Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to ravage the marine ecosystems of the gulf, efficient cleanup methods are needed more than ever. But we shouldn’t have to resort to using chemicals whose effects on the environment are not fully understood. Chemical oil dispersants are being dumped into the ocean at an unprecedented rate–and scientists fear that they may have adverse effects on the wildlife they’re being used to protect.

The use of these chemicals could lead to all sorts of harmful aftereffects as their toxins build up in the waters of the Gulf. We simply don’t know enough about them yet to ensure their safe use. Many environmental scientists have speculated that they have been contributing to marine animal deaths and negatively affecting human health. I ask that you stop flooding the Gulf with chemical dispersants until they have been more thoroughly tested.

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: US Coast Guard via Flickr.

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    Please sign and share.

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69 Signatures

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