YOBIE BENJAMIN – San Francisco Chronicle
BP oil spill dispersants suspected in widespread crop damage
Just when you thought the damages BP could cause was limited to beaches, marshes, oceans, people’s livelihoods, birds and marine life, there’s more.
BP’s favorite dispersant Corexit 9500 is being sprayed at the oil gusher on the ocean floor. Corexit is also being air sprayed across hundreds of miles of oil slicks all across the gulf. There have been widespread reports of oil cleanup crews reporting various injuries including respiratory distress, dizziness and headaches.
Corexit 9500 is a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by the Nalco (owned by Goldman Sachs) of Naperville, Illinois. Corexit is is four times more toxic than oil (oil is toxic at 11 ppm (parts per million), Corexit 9500 at only 2.61ppm).
In a report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. titled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview”Corexit 9500 was found to be one of the most toxic dispersal agents ever developed.
According to the Clark and George-Ares report, Corexit mixed with the higher gulf coast water temperatures becomes even more toxic. The UK’s Marine Management Organization has banned Corexit so if there was a spill in the UK’s North Sea, BP is banned from using Corexit.
The danger to humans can be expected. The warnings on the Corexit packaging is straightforward. Breathing in Corexit is not recommended.