May 24, 2010 5:25 PM by Melissa Canone
WASHINGTON (AP) - BP PLC is continuing to spray a toxic chemical
dispersant to break up the Gulf oil spill, even though a deadline
to stop use of the chemical has passed.
The Environmental Protection Agency directed BP last week to
find an alternative to a dispersant, called Corexit 9500, that has
been identified as a "moderate" human health hazard. The product
can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation with prolonged
Corexit was on a list of preapproved dispersants available to BP
after the oil spill, but federal officials said much about the
dispersant remains unknown.
The EPA directed BP to use a less toxic dispersant as of Sunday
night. The company told the government over the weekend that no
better alternative was available.