Skip to content

Scientists: Dispersants May Delay Recovery of the Gulf By Years … Or Decades

The government and BP claim that the combination of Corexit and crude oil is less toxic than crude oil by itself.

Is that true?

Well, scientists have found that when Corexit is applied to the actual crude oil from BP’s well, it releases 35 times more toxic chemicals into the water column than would be released with crude alone.

And the tests conducted by the EPA which purport to show that dispersant plus crude is less toxic than oil alone used a combination of Corexit with Louisiana light crude oil. However, the oil coming out of BP’s leaking well contains an unusually high concentration of methane. As CBS notes:

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

It is doubtful that the EPA used such unusually methane-rich oil in their testing.

More importantly, EPA toxicity tests on the dispersant-oil mixture were conducted at sea level pressures (in other words, the pressure at the surface of the ocean). But enormous quantities of Corexit have been applied 5,000 feet under the ocean at the leaking wellhead.

As the New York Times noted in May:

There has been significant research in response to spills over the past few decades, especially the Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 and the Prestige spill in 2002 off the coast of Spain.

But all of the scientific precedent is from spills from tankers or near shore.

“We are working with reliable knowledge from that science,” Plumb said, “but it is limited and not across the scale or scope of the ecosystem we are in now.”

Scientists and responders are prepared to deal with oiled birds and shoreline effects, because those are the usual problems. An ongoing oil spill a mile under water is unchartered ground.

“We’ve never dealt with this kind of deep water, we’ve never dealt with this amount of dispersants, we’ve never dealt with the Gulf,” [Roger Helm, chief of the contaminants division of the Fish and Wildlife Service] said. “We’re in a very early phase of the science here; there is not a lot of experimental work or practical work upon which to base the work we’re doing.”

Marine biologist and toxicologist Dr. Chris Pincetich – who has an extensive background in testing the effects of chemicals on fish – told me yesterday that scientists have no idea what compounds will be formed when Corexit dispersant and oil interact under the high pressures present at BP’s deepwater spill site (Dr. Pincetich directed environmental toxicity testing as a consultant and lab supervisor for many years, and now works to protect endangered sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Restoration Project,

And as Scientific American notes, breakdown products from the dispersant might be toxic as well:

For example, more testing will be needed to determine if the breakdown of Corexit 9500 – either into other chemicals or when metabolized by animals – produces toxic products of its own. “In toxicology, it’s quite often not the original compound that’s the toxic entity,” [toxicologist Cary Mitchelmore of the University of Maryland, who co-authored a National Research Council report on dispersants in 2005] notes.

Indeed, even Sergio Alex Villalobos, toxicologist for Nalco – maker of the Corexit dispersant – says:

Once it’s mixed with oil, that’s where you get the most impact, that’s where you see most of the toxicity.

Government Testing is “Embarrassing

Dr. Pincetich says that he’s “embarrassed” that the government is using inadequate tests regarding the toxicity of Corexit. For example, when I asked whether he thought the EPA’s screening level for Corexit in the Gulf of 750 parts per million is based on sound science, Dr. Pincetich said no. He pointed me to a 1996 study which found that exposures of less than 20 ppm can adversely affect abalone.

Dr. Pincetich also noted that the tests being used in the Gulf are not the standard type of tests used to measure toxicity of long-term chronic exposure, but are typically only used for initial screening of effluent from coastal dischargers. There is no scientific evidence to support using only such a short-term, acute exposure test. The EPA training manual contains dozens of better testing protocols, and toxicity tests are usually run on 7 different species when there is a screening of unknown toxic chemicals involved (and even basic national pollution discharge standards require testing for 3 species), but – in the Gulf – the EPA has only been testing using 2 species.

Dr. Pincetich has also noted that EPA toxicity testing for Corexit is woefully inadequate, since EPA testing was only for mortality and only used a 48- and 96-hour time frame. His doctoral research found that fish that were alive at 96 hours after exposure to pesticide were dead at two weeks, so the chemicals were considered non-lethal for the purposes of the test:

Dr. Pincetich explained that many standardized EPA bioassay toxicity testing protocols exist to measure growth and reproduction in marine early life stage organisms, but EPA is just using the cheapest possible tests. He says that standard tests should be run, and BP should pick up the tab.

Corexit May Delay Recovery of the Gulf for Years … Or Even Decades

Dr. Pincetich told me that he believes that use of dispersant may – in certain circumstances – delay recovery of the ecosystem for years.

Indeed, PhD toxicologist Ricki Ott noted in a New York Times Op Ed that dispersants like Corexit can persist in the ocean for decades:

[Dispersants] can linger in the water for decades, especially when used in deep water, where low temperatures can inhibit biodegradation.

Some experts have also said that the use of Corexit has prolonged by decades the presence of toxic crude oil, because the dispersant sinks the oil beneath the ocean surface, where it cannot be quickly broken down by sun, waves and microbes.

And the head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Ecology Department – Terry Hazen – argues that the use of dispersants can delay recovery of ocean ecosystems by decades:

Hazen has more than 30 years experience studying the effects of oil spills. He says the oil will be damaging enough; toxic dispersants will just make it worse. He points to the 1978 Amoco Cadiz Spill off the coast of Normandy as an example. He says areas where dispersants were used still have not fully recovered, while areas where there was no human intervention are now fine.

As Hazen has noted:

“The untreated coastal areas were fully recovered within five years of the Amoco Cadiz spill,” says Hazen. “As for the treated areas, ecological studies show that 30 years later, those areas still have not recovered.”

Admittedly, chemicals other than Corexit were used in the Amoco Cadiz spill. But the precautionary tale still holds: chemicals should not be applied to oil spills unless scientists are positive that they will provide a net long-term benefit.

Disturbingly, Corexit is apparently still being sprayed in the Gulf. See this, this and this.

View the original article at Washingtons Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Television Video & Film.

Tagged with , , , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. Or if you need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install and other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.