The U.S. government is ordering energy giant BP to find less-toxic chemicals to break up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill amid evidence that the dispersants are not effective and could actually make the spill more harmful to marine life. The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that BP has to choose an alternative dispersant by today and must begin using it by Sunday. The chemicals â€” touted as a critical means of attacking the growing spill â€” have questionable value over the long run and may actually slow down the bacteria that biodegrade crude oil, according to a USA TODAY review of the latest scientific studies and some of the world's top experts. Dispersants are toxic, and when mixed with oil can become even more dangerous than either the dispersant or oil alone, according to Fingas and EPA data. Oil treated with dispersants spreads through the water, more readily coming in contact with delicate fish eggs and other fragile sea dwellers. The company (BP) said it would continue to use only government-approved products. EPA tells BP to use less-toxic chemicals - USATODAY.com BP PLC says it's going to stick with the main chemical dispersant it's been using to fight the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, despite directions from the Environmental Protection Agency to use a less toxic agent. He says that tests show Corexit was among the most effective agents at dispersing the oil. And he said Corexit was the only dispersant available immediately and at great enough quantities to be used on the spill. BP to continue using dispersant on spill - USATODAY.com So let me get this straight. BP is using a chemical which is maybe more dangerous than the oil they are trying to clean up. The government tells them to knock it off. BP says, "Sure." Two days later BP says, "No," because "it's all we have," and damn the danger. Shouldn't they have known before the spill that one of their main lines of defense was hazardous in it's right and taken steps to have something else on hand? In large enough quantities?