New Study: BP using Corexit in Gulf made oil up to 50 times more toxic — Industry likes it so much, companies are stocking up for next disaster

Published: December 4th, 2012 at 10:33 pm ET
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Title: Scientists still learning from Deepwater Horizon disaster
Source: Tampa Bay Times
Author: Craig Pittman
Date: December 4, 2012

[...] One new study, released on Friday, found that the dispersant may have made the oil more toxic to wildlife than the oil alone would have been. [...]

The new study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes in Mexico looked at the impact the dispersant had on rotifers, a sensitive microscopic creature that’s eaten by crabs, shrimp and small fish in the gulf. It found that combining the dispersant with the oil boosted the toxicity to rotifers by a factor of 52. Testing continues.

Despite that scientific uncertainty [Steve Murawski, formerly the chief federal fisheries scientist and now a University of South Florida marine science professor,] said, the oil industry is so sold on Corexit that the companies that conduct similar deep-sea drilling projects have all stocked up on it to use at the next such disaster. [...]

See also: Bombshell: Gov't agrees with blogs, BP not telling truth about devastation in Gulf -- "It's hard to stress the critical importance of these court filings"

Published: December 4th, 2012 at 10:33 pm ET
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26 comments to New Study: BP using Corexit in Gulf made oil up to 50 times more toxic — Industry likes it so much, companies are stocking up for next disaster

  • razzz razzz

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corexit

    "…Evidence from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute shows Corexit did not degrade as promised. Studies conducted in January 2011 indicated that the 800,000 gallons of Corexit applied at BP's Macondo well-head "did nothing to break up the oil and simply drifted into the ecosystem".[44]…"

    I was hanging out over at the OilDrum site during the blowout and the old-timers swore the Gulf would recover from the oil spill if just left alone since the surface water is around 80F, the bacteria would thrive and devour the oil naturally. Of course the oil would have to show at the surface but Corexit prevented that.


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  • dosdos dosdos

    Only one solution, make Corexit illegal to use in US waters, just like they in Brittan.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    That Corexit can make an oil slick disperse and drop far enough below the surface of the water to be out of sight, thus out of mind, is why it will be so popular. Of course, it makes it nearly impossible to clean up the oil since it gradually drops the oil to the sea bottom where it accumulates into a thick tarry mat. Sounds like, from this study, it also makes it more likely to permeate living organisms by allowing oil to enter through protective shell, at the very least, more easily. I suppose if the oil is under the water or inside the living organisms, it doesn't much matter. It can't be seen and that is what really counts. It allows sweet comfortable denial to be pulled back into place.


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  • Sol Man

    Since these VOC's don't support life in this closed system, ecocide should be the topic of conversation.


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  • markww markww

    I have written some news outlets to get with TEXAS A&M and use the material they used to clean oil spills it is non toxic and safe no left over residues. waiting for a email to come back from US NEWS

    Markww


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    ..Ooohh..I'm afraid you might be barking up the wrong tree..MarkWW.
    Texas A & M and BP..are bosom buddies..

    Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi officials announce BP contribution to spill school

    http://www.caller.com/news/2012/oct/02/texas-am-university-corpus-christi-officials-bp/?partner=RSS


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    • markww markww

      I was there when Texas A&M developed this bacterium and was with the media at the time.This substance is like small granule's like sand that eats the oil and it dissolves it and no left over residue. Heart anything id better than the killing poison of Corexit.

      markww


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  • markww markww

    Oil eating substance

    http://www.wdsu.com/Texas-Company-Develops-Oil-Eating-Microbes/-/9854144/10986752/-/jql801z/-/index.html

    the A&M your talking about is a small campus the main campus is in Waco Bryan College Station where I took most of my fire training courses

    Markww


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    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Oil eating microbes..not a whole lot better…

      Sept. 17 2010..

      Riki Ott
      Remediation or biohazard? Dispersant
      sThere are two distinct types of bacteria based on the structure of their cell walls. Gram-positive bacteria have a single-membrane cell wall, while Gram-negative bacteria have a double-membrane cell wall. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are "Gram-positive," while the oil-eating bacteria are Gram-negative.

      But! A component of the double-membrane cell wall structure of Gram-negative bacteria can irritate human skin, causing inflammation and activating the immune system. In other words, oil-eating bacteria, just because they are Gram-negative, can cause skin rashes. In the case of Alcanivorax borkumensis, the reaction can erupt on the skin like MRSA infections.

      To make things a little scarier, some of the oil-eating bacteria have been genetically modified, or otherwise bioengineered, to better eat the oil — including Alcanivorax borkumensis and some of the Pseudomonas. Oil-eating bacteria produce bio-films. According to Nurse Schmidt, studies have found that bio-films are rapidly colonized (p. 97) by other Gram-negative bacteria — including those known to infect humans."


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      • Thad

        HOTR– confused, maybe you can sxplain how an oil eating bacteria would enhance petroleum petroleum.. the reason some are claiming that oil companies developed it for.. Hydrocarbon being only hydrogen and carbon– If the hydrogen fraction is consumed the result would a solid carbon. If the carbon is consumed is free hydrogen gas– Neither one can be used as petroleum–


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  • VanneV anne

    BP America ~ 2 years later.
    Apr 20, 2012
    Ban COREXIT still being used. Oil is still coming up. People are Ill. While the Government LOOKs the Other way.

    America and The GOvernment is IGNOring this HEALTH ISSUE!
    PROTEST BP! Don't let Bp Propaganda Commercials fool YOU! Please HELP The GULf to Stand up TO BP. Don't let our Government Get away with this COVER UP! PEOPLE ARE ILL. CLaims are not paid.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/BP-MaKes-us-SiCk-OILDisPerSant-RePORTSCOVER-UP… must Ban COREXIT NOW.

    Please sign this petition ~Demand Dispersant Testing on Dead Dolphins & Sea Turtles in the Gulf ~ http://www.PetitionOnline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?Corexit1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9on5zl0JknA


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  • VanneV anne

    Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

    “The exact makeup of the dispersants is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses….

    “A version of Corexit was widely used after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and, according to a literature review performed by the group the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, was later linked with health impacts in people including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders…”
    http://www.propublica.org/article/bp-gulf-oil-spill-dispersants-0430


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    (cont.).."Scientists anticipated early on that the Gulf leak would cause populations of oil-eating bacteria to soar. Still, infections are not likely in healthy people. However, exposure to oil weakens a person's immune system function, as does the mental stress of dealing with disaster trauma. And then there are people who are more at risk than others to bacterial infections, especially when first challenged with oil and solvent exposure. This includes children, people with cystic fibrosis or asthma, and African Americans (who are prone to blood disorders), to name a few."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/bio-remediation-or-bio-ha_b_720461.html


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  • VanneV anne

    Chemical dispersants being used in Gulf clean-up are potentially toxic
    “We finally know the main two dispersants that BP and the U.S. government are using to treat the ongoing Gulf spill. Both, by their maker’s own admission, have the “potential to bioconcentrate,” and both have “moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks,” according to a study by Exxon, the company that originally developed them. …
    “that two different dispersants sold under the banner of Corexit were being used in vast quantities. The Corexit brand is owned by an Illinois-based company called Nalco, which entered the dispersant business back in 1994, when it merged with Exxon’s chemical unit….
    “The link took me to a “fact sheets” page, where I was able to download Nalco’s Material Safety Data Sheets for “Dispersant Type 1,” Corexit 9500 (PDF); and “Dispersant Type 2,” Corexit 9527A (PDF). These product numbers matched the ones that had been identified unofficially by my sources….
    “’No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product’ — meaning testing their safety for humans….
    “Both data sheets include the warning ‘human health hazards: acute.’ The MSDS for Corexit 9527A states that ‘excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects,’ and ‘repeated or excessive exposure to butoxyethanol [an active ingredient] may cause injury to red blood cells (hemolysis), kidney or the liver.’…


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  • VanneV anne

    Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards
    “Crude oil has many highly toxic chemical ingredients that can damage every system in the body. Dispersant chemicals can affect many of the same organs. These include:

    respiratory system nervous system, including the brain
    liver reproductive/urogenital system
    kidneys endocrine system
    circulatory system gastrointestinal system
    immune system sensory systems
    musculoskeletal system hematopoietic system (blood forming)
    skin and integumentary system disruption of normal metabolism

    “Damage to these systems can cause a wide range of diseases and conditions. Some may be immediately evident, and others can appear months or years later. The chemicals can impair normal growth and development through a variety of mechanisms, including endocrine disruption and direct fetal damage. They cause mutations that may lead to cancer and multi-generational birth defects. Some are known carcinogens, such as benzene (CDC, 1999)….”
    http://www.sciencecorps.org/crudeoilhazards.htm


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  • VanneV anne

    The Gulf Ecosystem Is Being Decimated
    “…A recent report also notes that there are flesh-eating bacteria in tar balls of BP oil washing up on Gulf beaches…

    “Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause….

    “The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP’s disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome….

    “Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts can include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They are also teratogenic – able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus – and carcinogenic….”
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/2-years-after-the-bp-oil-spill-is-the-gulf-ecosystem-collapsing.html


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  • VanneV anne

    BP is still drilling in oceans around the world, including in the Arctic. They are being allowed to destroy all the oceans of the world–a destruction that can never be repaired.

    Ecocide should be a crime in the criminal wars crimes tribunals.


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  • The article linked in the headline is rather vague about the study itself

    I think this is the study being cited
    Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response
    Jane Lubchencoa,1, Marcia K. McNuttb, Gabrielle Dreyfusa,2, Steven A. Murawskia,3, David M. Kennedya, Paul T. Anastasc,4,
    Steven Chud, and Tom Huntere,5

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/29/1204729109.full.pdf+html


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  • Thad

    Everyone is missing the point it is not that "Industry likes it so much" it that it is the cheapest/ easiest too use dispersent that IS APPROVE. That is the problem, It's easy to bad mouth the oil company but them are nt the problem– the approving agency is. And cursing by name is empty — OK- outlaw Corexit– simple dis continue production put 2 grain of salt in the formula -new product- new name–same crap..What needs to be banned is that type dispersant—

    "companies are stocking up for next disaster" Not a problem if people can get that type dispersant banned then they have bought something thay can't use and something they can't eat.

    Need to work on state governments– that type dispersant CAN BE BANNED by states on state land and state water—


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Surely, Thad, the oil companies bear some responsibility for the spill in the first place and for failing to do research and development on finding an adequate response to oil spills, if one can ever exist? Isn't Corexit a response to industry desires for a dispersant?

      I also think that the users of oil bear responsibility, too, and that we should be making ourselves and our own pocketbooks available to any and all clean-up, but most of that is done through taxes and also at the price at the pump.


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      • Thad

        Yes the oil companies are responsible for their spills
        AND Corexit was developed orginally for and the oil industry
        AND it's use was approved by EPA and all related agencies-
        If the gov is happy the oil companies are happy–
        If the disaster was a natural event such as hurricane- earthquake-tornado it would be public responsibility through taxes — BUT this disaster was through corporate negligence and greed—
        Public responsibility is that we have not caused the EPA et al to set higher standards for testing and approval– And that we have not made EPA sacrocanct safe from political and corporate pressure and meddling–
        As far as "price at the pump"at present oil price are set by world market prices–the EXPORTS 45% all crude processed in the US–Pl research "US oil product exports" before calling me delusional– here is a start — US dot.gov numbers—
        http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_exp_dc_nus-z00_mbblpd_m.htm


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  • VanneV anne

    Gulf of Mexico Clean-Up Makes 2010 Spill 52-Times More Toxic; Mixing Oil With Dispersant Increased Toxicity to Ecosystems
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130110518.htm

    Deepwater Horizon oil spill 'cleanup' made toxicity worse, study finds

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038171_Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill_toxicity.html#ixzz2EE0HUb4U

    Dispersant Makes Oil 52 Times More Toxic
    http://www.livescience.com/25159-oil-dispersant-increases-toxicity.html

    BP Clean-Up Made Oil Spill 52 Times Worse
    A study has found that the clean-up mission appears to have made the BP oil spill disaster even worse.
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/13335/20121130/bp-clean-up-made-oil-spill-52.htm


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  • Ron

    Oh yes they love it. Now they can HIDE their pollution like picking up a carpet and sweeping filth underneath, away form the eyes of others. They don't care that they're actually making things worse. It's all about perception.

    This is a scandal in the making.

    Let's face it, big business is infested with psychopaths. Ban the stuff and they'll find and use it anyway, if just to keep others from discovering their cheap, lazy, lackadaisical, budget attitude toward doing the right thing. That said they should ban corexit if just to prosecute the bastards when they are caught using it.


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