Google "Corexit: Deadly Dispersant in Oil Spill Cleanup"
"On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
Select Excerpts from Whistleblower Affidavits & Report Statements
As an environmental scientist, I look at the way the government and BP are handling, describing and discussing the spill ... [T]he government did not account for the increased toxicity of the combined oil and Corexit.
– Scott Porter, Diver, Marine Biologist
[W]hen a BP representative came up on the speedboat and asked if we need anything, I again explained my concerns about breathing in the Corexit and asked him for a respirator ... He explained 'If you wear a respirator, it is bringing attention to yourself because no one else is wearing respirators, and you can get fired for that.'
– Jorey Danos, Cleanup Worker
What brought all of these individuals into the same pool was the fact that their symptoms were almost identical, and were different from anything that I had ever observed in my 40 plus years as a physician ... However, until people are educated about the symptoms associated with exposure to toxic waste from the spill, we cannot assume they will make the connection. I continue to witness this disconnect and these symptoms on a daily basis.
– Dr. Michael Robichaux, Physician
When [the national director of The Children's Health Fund] went to Boothville Elementary in Plaquemines Parish and they opened the medical closet, it was full of nebulizers ... Where's the red flag? What is causing that many breathing problems with that number of kids? That is abnormal. At Boothville Elementary we have sick kids all over the place who are suffering from upper respiratory infections, severe%
All this comes from an April report issued by the Government Accounting Project (GAP). The "facts" noted in the report are based largely upon anecdotal information (interviews) and a number of self-styled experts. I've read the summary and failed to see how BP is supposed to be the bad guy. 90% of the FUBAR comes from the DoD (aerial spraying), the Coast Guard, FEMA NOAA and the EPA. There was clearly a lot of confusion as to the safety of Corexit, but that was the government's job to straighten out, not BP's responsibility.
GAP is pretending to be non-partisan by publicizing the Government screw ups, but they're real target is BP. No where is it ever mentioned the Corexit was the only EPA-approved dispersant available in the large quantities BP required; further more, no where is it ever mentioned that ALL dispersants cause environmental problems if used in large enough quantities. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE OIL DISPERSANT!
Another tired retread argument. These statements represent what's known in the legal world as anecdotal evidence -- in other words, personal opinions. The individuals making these statements may be highly-qualified in their respective fields but that doesn't necessarily make them experts on the use of Corexit.
The material safety data sheet (MSDS) clearly indicates that Corexit is no different from many other industrial chemicals in that it's something requiring a certain amount of care in handling, storage and exposure. The MSDS for Corexit EC9500A states:
Sec. 8, Exposure Controls / Personal Protection: "Exposure guidelines have not been established for this product."
Never the less, the MSDS clearly states the need for gloves, goggles and some sort of protective clothing (i.e., skin protection) when handling Corexit. It also states:
"Where concentrations in air may exceed the limits given in this section, the use of a half face filter mask or air supplied breathing apparatus is recommended."
But what are these "limits"? For Corexit per se, none are listed. There ARE exposure guidelines for hydrotreated light distillates ( a component of Corexit) as being 165 ppm. I should also point out that MANY industrial chemicals, including Corexit, can be extremely dangerous in confined environments (like store rooms, or ship holds) with inadequate ventilation.
So there's no clear indication as to when a respirator is required, but mostly likely it's not needed if the chemical is used outside. But that applies only those HANDLING the chemical directly or those working nearby who may be exposed to wind-driven mists; by the time it's diluted in the ocean, Corexit would represent absolutely NO danger from inhalation or skin contact. One can argue about the long-term impact on sea life, but that's an entirely different issue.
What about the MSDS for the Corexit EC9527A that was largely used in the BP Gulf Spill which stated:
Respiratory Protection: IF THE TLV HAS BEEN EXCEEDED, USE A NIOSH/MSHA APPROVED
Ventilation: LOCAL EXHAUST. STORE & HANDLE LABORATORY SAMPLES IN A LAB
HOOD. PROVIDE MECHANICAL VENTILATION IN CONFINED AREAS.
Protective Gloves: CHEMICAL RESISTANT
Eye Protection: CHEMICAL SAFETY GOGGLES W/FACE SHIELD
Other Protective Equipment: CHEMICAL SUIT, RUBBER BOOTS, LONG SLEEVE CLOTHING.
Hazard And Precautions: EYES: IRRITATING, MAY INJURE TISSUE IF NOT REMOVED
PROMPTLY. SKIN: IRRITATING. ABSORPTION MAY CAUSE HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA &
KIDNEY DAMAGE EVIDENCED BY PALENESS & RED COLORATION OF URINE.
INHALATION: RESPIR ATORY TRACT IRRITATION. SYSTEMIC EFFECTS. INGESTION: LOW
TOXICITY. INHALATION/SKIN OVEREXPOSURE: BLOOD/KIDNEY DAMAGE. TARGET ORGANS:
EYES, SKIN, KIDNEYS, RESPIRATORY TRACT, BLOOD.
TARGET ORGANS: EYES, SKIN, LIVER, KIDNEYS, RESPIRATORY & DIGESTIVE TRACTS,
Why did the EPA and BP ignore the massive use of Corexit EC9527A which contained 38%
2-BUTOXYETHANOL and only mention Corexit EC9500A?
I had hoped BP would be better in their Gulf Spill than Exxon/Mobil was in the Prince William Sound spill.