Now Available: Report on Dispersant Use in Oil Spill Response

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released their evaluation findings that assessed the effects and efficacy of dispersants as an oil spill response tool. The study committee reviewed domestic and international research reports and results, including both laboratory and field studies. The report includes a comparison of chemically dispersed oil with the fate and effects of untreated oil and a review of dispersant use during actual spill events, including the Deepwater Horizon incident.  

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) helped sponsor this study, and Research Board Chair Rita Colwell said, “We thank the GOMRI family members for their contributions.  This will be an important reference document for our ongoing GOMRI synthesis efforts.”

The report is free for download in PDF at

More information about the project is available at


The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit

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