The EPA ordered BP to stop using the Corexit dispersants in the Gulf spill but BP has refused.
BP replied with a justification for using Corexit which the EPA responded to saying BP’s response “lacked sufficient analysis.” .
BP’s latest oil spill response update for June 4th says the total amount of the Corexit dispersant used in the Gulf of Mexico more than 1,021,000 gallons..
EPA and CDC warnings about Corexit
According to the EPA — People working with dispersants are strongly advised to use a half face filter mask or an air-supplied breathing apparatus to protect their noses, throats, and lungs, and they should wear nitrile or PVC gloves, coveralls, boots, and chemical splash goggles to keep dispersants off skin and out of their eyes.
According to the CDC — To prevent harmful respiratory and dermal health effects NIOSH recommends reducing worker exposures to 2-butoxyethanol, petroleum distillates and similar cleaning agents in dispersants.
- Material Data Safety Sheet for Corexit 9500A (PDF) (11pp., 88 K, About PDF)
- Material Data Safety Sheet for Corexit 9527A (PDF) (11 pp., 132 K, About PDF)
The active ingredient of the toxic chemical dispersant, Corexit, is a neurotoxin pesticide that is acutely toxic to both human and aquatic life, causes cancer, causes damage to internal organs. Corexit has been banned for use in the UK since 1998 because it can kill off an entire food chain. It is lethal in concentrations as little as 2.6 parts per million.
One scientific study showed that oil dispersed with Corexit is 11 times more lethal than oil alone. A report in the journal Environmental Toxicology concluded that lethality levels in “dispersed oil combinations were significantly more toxic to these organisms than .. crude oil.” A study of snails and amphipods reached exactly the same conclusion. More information on the toxicity of Corexit is available here, here and here.
It makes no sense to allow the use of such a toxic chemical that can “delete” the ecological systems along the Gulf coast.
Some are asking what happens if when hurricane season strews this toxic soup onto people along the Gulf coast? Good question.
It appears that the cleanup is a bigger disaster in the making than the spill itself. (Source)
The complete list of ingredients in Corexit are available on the EPA website at:
The EPA website lists all eight ingredients in Corexit – not just the six revealed by the manufacturer of Corexit, Nalco Company. Prominent among the ingredients is 2-butoxy ethanol. Check out the Material Safety Data Sheet for 2-Butoxy ethanol at:
Just Sayin’ CNN reports that the vast majority of those who worked to clean up the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska are now dead, and that the life expectancy for those who worked to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill is about 51 years. Safety gear? BP don’t issue no safety gear. Tie a hanky over your nose and quit worrying about that dispersant stuff.
Test Results: What have we, as a nation, as a body politic, learned from the BP disaster in the Gulf? What have we learned about unfettered and unregulated greed? Or about the role of government in regulating industries? Nothing? Right. Absolutely nothing . But don’t abandon hope; it’s a learning experience and the experience is far from over. (Source)
- COREXIT – Ingredients Of A Death Potion (Source)
- Compiled By Marlitta Perkins
MSD Sheet on Corexit 9500
MSD Sheet on Corexit 9527
MSD Sheet on 2-Butoxyethanol (active ingredient in Corexit 9527)
MSD Sheet on Propylene glycol (active ingredient in Corexit 9500 and 9527)
Toxicological Profile for 2-Butoxyethanol (active ingredient in Corexit 9527)
Toxicological Profile for Propylene Glycol (active ingredient in Corexit 9500 and 9527)
EPA’s Toxicity Testing of Dispersants (Phase 1 & 2)
Reports found on this page:
Questions and Answers on Dispersants Toxicity Testing (PDF) (7pp 16K)
Comparative Toxicity of Eight Oil Dispersant Products on Two Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Test Species, June 30, 2010 (PDF 11pp)
Analysis of Eight Oil Spill Dispersants Using In Vitro Tests for Endocrine and Other Biological Activity, June 30, 2010 (PDF 47pp) | Appendices (PDF
Updated report – September, 2010: Comparative Toxicity of Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil (LSC) and Chemically Dispersed LSC to Two Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Test Species (PDF) (13 pp 121K)
August, 2010: Comparative Toxicity of Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil (LSC) and Chemically Dispersed LSC to Two Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Test Species (PDF)
EPA – Questions and Answers on Dispersants
National Contingency Plan Product Schedule (Updated January 2011)
National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling’s third series of meetings, Lisa Jackson Testimony, Sept. 27, 2010
National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling – THE USE OF SURFACE AND SUBSEA DISPERSANTS DURING THE BP DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL – Staff Working Paper No. 4. Originally Released October 6, 2010. Updated January 11, 2011
European Maritime Safety Agency – Inventory of national policies regarding the use of oil spill dispersants in the EU Member States (Nov. 6, 2007)
Marine Management Agency (UK) – List of Oil spill treatment products approved
for use in the United Kingdom (May 18, 2010)
Note: Corexit 9527 (removed from list 30/07/1998). Corexit 9500 (removed from list 30/07/1998). Both products failed the Rocky Shore Test. Only existing stockpiles of Corexit 9527 or Corexit 9500 are allowed to be used in the UK, but only with prior approval.
TOXICITY OF SOUTH LOUISIANA CRUDE OIL, ALASKAN NORTH SLOPE CRUDE OIL AND DISPERSANT COREXIT 9500 TO GULF KILLIFISH, WHITE SHRIMP, AND EASTERN OYSTER (1998)
COMPARATIVE TOXICITY OF TWO OIL DISPERSANTS, SUPERDISPERSANT-25 AND COREXIT
9527, TO A RANGE OF COASTAL SPECIES (UK, 2004)
- What is Corexit? (greenanswers.com)
- Is BP Still Spraying Toxic Dispersants in the Gulf? (dailyfinance.com)
- Deep-Sea BP Spill Disperants Didn’t Degrade for Months (wired.com)
- No disappearing act: Dispersant ingredient lives on months after BP oil disaster (blogs.edf.org)
- Oil Dispersants Could Be More Problematic Than Oil Spill (lockergnome.com)
- Dispersants persisted after BP spill (sciencenews.org)
- BP’s Dispersants Slow to Disperse (motherjones.com)