"Southeast winds of 30 mph this weekend have overwhelmed almost all attempts to stop a huge oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico from sloshing ashore -- except for the use of a potent chemical solution known as a dispersant.
For now, heavy applications of the soaplike liquid may be all that stand between the fast-spreading crude and Florida's coastline, which could be in jeopardy by midweek, according to projections by response authorities in Roberts, La.
Environmental advocates and scientists consider dispersant the lesser of two evils when faced with what could turn out to be the nation's worst drilling-related offshore oil spill. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that "dispersants used today are less toxic than those used in the past, but long-term, cumulative effects of dispersant use are still unknown.""
Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel May 2, 2010.
"Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns" (ProPublica)
"Dispersants Play Rerouting Role in Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill" (Los Angeles Times)