Pollution: Killer Detergents

Resorting to emergency techniques much the same as those used recently in Puerto Rico, British cleanup squads sprayed detergents along the coast of Cornwall after the tanker Torrey Canyon went aground last year. Scientists now report that the detergents did more damage to marine life than did the oil.

After months of study, Plymouth Laboratory Director J. E. Smith and his colleagues calculated that thousands of sea birds died from being coated with oil or from swallowing it. But except for the rosy-footed summer tourist, few other shore or sea creatures were seriously bothered by the oil. The detergents, however,...

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