Corexit is a toxic chemical used to disperse oil in water. Since oil normally rises to the top of water and covers the surface, in an oil spill there is a lot of oil and comparatively little surface so there is a thick layer of oil on top. If the oil is dispersed then little droplets of oil can float in the water, meaning that there is much more room for the oil to float away in so there is less damage to plants and animals. Unfortunately Corexit is much more toxic than other solutions and is only used because BP and Exxon are involved with the company that makes it.
The EPA says there are eight more effective ways of solving the problem that Corexit solves while being less toxic.
Corexit is an oil spill disperant that breaks up oil into biodegradable droplets. It reduces exposure for wildlife. It is developed by Nalco.
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