Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope fame addressed this reader question in the June 18th, 2010 issue of his column. Obviously it’s of ongoing interest as we continue to watch the incredible damage to the environment of the Gulf, and BP’s so-far mostly futile efforts to cap the broken well. Adams concludes that while there has been some natural cleansing observed in Alaska, oil spills are terrible things. Unfortunately, remediation efforts can have their own set of problems. Adams isn’t a scientist but he brings ample curiosity and dogged determination to every topic he tackles.