Friday, January 25, 2013

What You May Not Know About Corexit that the EPA Should Have Told You

Below is information on the toxicity of the oil dispersants, Corexit 9500 and 9527Both of which were sprayed by BP in an attempt to combat the oil spill resultant of the explosion of the Macondo Prospect/Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Both Corexit 9500 and 9527 were approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Now, nearly three years post, studies are proving that the ingredients of both Corexit 9500 and 9527 are not merely environmentally damaging - causing mass destruction, mutation, and poisoning of the Gulf waters inhabitants, but are also responsible for numerous illnesses, cancer among them, which are afflicting Gulf side residents, cleanup workers, and the like.

So, who is going to pay for the damage, and the medical expenses related to those who have, and continue to be, exposed to the oil and Corexit which is drifting about in Gulf waters? 

The class action suit against BP, for those who chose not to opt out, is offering up a mere $900 per person - not nearly enough for a lifetime's worth of illness.

Some of the individuals exposed have reported bleeding from every bodily orifice, rupturing of the red blood cells in the lungs/ ground glass opacity, skin and eye ailments, and worse.  And the EPA wants you to believe that Corexit is safe?

What ailments have you and your family experienced after exposure?  Post your comments and stories, as they will be added to the ongoing list which many fully intend to bring before not merely BP in individual lawsuits, but also against the United States Government, EPA and all those agencies involved with the "cleanup" of the largest environmental disaster in the history of the nation.


From Wikipedia, Corexit


There is a scarcity of scientific data regarding the toxicity of Corexit.[4] The majority of studies performed on the dispersant were testing for effectiveness in dispersing oil, rather than on toxicity.[23] The manufacturer's safety data sheet states "No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product," and later concludes "The potential human hazard is: Low."[24] According to the manufacturer's website, workers applying Corexit should wear breathing protection and work in a ventilated area.[25] Compared with 12 other dispersants listed by the EPA, Corexit 9500 and 9527 are either similarly toxic or 10 to 20 times more toxic.[11] In another preliminary EPA study of eight different dispersants, Corexit 9500 was found to be less toxic to some marine life than other dispersants and to break down within weeks, rather than settling to the bottom of the ocean or collecting in the water.[26] None of the eight products tested are "without toxicity", according to an EPA administrator, and the ecological effect of mixing the dispersants with oil is unknown, as is the toxicity of the breakdown products of the dispersant.[26]

Corexit 9527, considered by the EPA to be an acute health hazard, is stated by its manufacturer to be potentially harmful to red blood cells, the kidneys and the liver, and may irritate eyes and skin.[17][27] The chemical 2-butoxyethanol, found in Corexit 9527, was identified as having caused lasting health problems in workers involved in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.[28] According to the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the use of Corexit during the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused people "respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders".[19] Like 9527, 9500 can cause hemolysis (rupture of blood cells) and may also cause internal bleeding.[5]

According to the EPA, Corexit is more toxic than dispersants made by several competitors and less effective in handling southern Louisiana crude.[29] On May 19, 2010, the EPA ordered BP to change to a different dispersant than Corexit, or to produce a report within 24 hours on alternatives considered and reasons for their rejection.[30] BP took the latter option, sending its report the next day.[31] On May 26, the EPA told BP to reduce the use of dispersants by 75%;[32] surface use was prohibited unless a request for exemption in specific circumstances was granted, while subsurface use was capped at 15,000 gallons per day.[33] After May 26 daily average use dropped to a little more than 23,000 gallons per day, a 9% drop.[34]

During a Senate hearing on the use of dispersants, Senator Lisa Murkowski asked EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson whether Corexit use should be banned, stating she didn't want dispersants to be "the Agent Orange of this oil spill".[35][36][37]

Nalco spokesman Charlie Pajor said that oil mixed with Corexit is "more toxic to marine life, but less toxic to life along the shore and animals at the surface" because the dispersant allows the oil to stay submerged below the surface of the water.[38] Corexit 9500 causes oil to form into small droplets in the water; fish may be harmed when they eat these droplets.[5] According to its Material safety data sheet, Corexit may also bioaccumulate, remaining in the flesh and building up over time.[39] Thus predators who eat smaller fish with the toxin in their systems may end up with much higher levels in their flesh.[5] The influence of Corexit on microbiological communities is a topic of ongoing research.[40]


Alabama researchers found that the dispersant killed plankton and disrupted the Gulf of Mexico's food web, noting "it's like the middle part of the food chain has been taken away".[41]
The first analysis of the 57 chemicals found in Corexit formulas 9500 and 9527 was conducted by Earthjustice and Toxipedia Consulting Services in the summer of 2011. Results showed the dispersant could contain cancer-causing agents, hazardous toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.[42] The analysis found "5 chemicals are associated with cancer; 33 are associated with skin irritation from rashes to burns; 33 are linked to eye irritation; 11 are or are suspected of being potential respiratory toxins or irritants; 10 are suspected kidney toxins; 8 are suspected or known to be toxic to aquatic organisms; and 5 are suspected to have a moderate acute toxicity to fish”.[43]

In April 2012, three environmental groups sued the EPA and the Coast Guard, claiming the agencies failed to adequately study the chemicals in dispersants, and the reconstituted oil they target, and to know how endangered species will be affected.[44]

A study from Georgia Tech and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico reported in late 2012 that Corexit used during the BP oil spill made the oil up to 52 times more toxic.[45][7][8] The leader of the study, Roberto-Rico Martinez (UAA), said “Dispersants are preapproved to help clean up oil spills and are widely used during disasters....but we have a poor understanding of their toxicity. Our study indicates the increase in toxicity may have been greatly underestimated following the Macondo well explosion”.

In November 2012, a study released by Florida State University and Utrecht University, Netherlands found Corexit made oil sink faster and more deeply into the beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies.[46] The researchers found that Corexit 9500A allowed the toxic components of crude oil (PAHs) to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed. The authors explained, "The causes of the reduced PAH retention after dispersant application has several reasons: 1) the dispersant transforms the oil containing the PAHs into small micelles that can penetrate through the interstitial space of the sand. 2) the coating of the oil particles produced by the dispersant reduces the sorption to the sand grains, 3) saline conditions enhance the adsorption of dispersant to sand surfaces, thereby reducing the sorption of oil to the grains".[45]

A 2012 study clearly suggests that Corexit is highly toxic to early life stages of coral.[47] From the paper, "Even at a low concentration (0.86 ppm) of oil-dispersant mixture diluted over 96 hours, most of the mountainous star coral did not survive".

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