Initial experiences with oil spill dispersants were less than positive somewhat due to the fact that dispersants began their evolution as chemical substances that were perhaps more toxic than the oil that they were intended to disperse. Through time, however, dispersants were formulated to become less toxic. Beginning with caution, testing and evaluation though the U.S. national science community, then through public workshops and hearings, the US began the process of integrating dispersant usage into its repertory of response technologies.

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