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The study, published by peer-reviewed journal PLUS ONE, looked at a specific chemical dispersant used by responders following the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. The chemical, Corexit 9500, was heavily used to break up oil formations in an effort to prevent the nearly 200 million barrels of released oil from reaching the coastal shores.
The testing used coral larvae in various concentrations of Corexit 9500, seawater, and oil. With concentrations of 100 parts per million, no coral tested was able to survive. The majority of coral species tested were killed by concentrations of only 50 parts per million of the chemical dispersant.
Coral ecosystems are extremely fragile and the massive dumping of Corexit 9500 may have long-term effects worse than oil alone. Corexit 9500 was used under the guise of saving the lives of sea life and land animals who would may have become coated in oil.
The findings can be viewed HERE.