Monday, May 31, 2010

a hard rain’s gonna fall

from the EU Times: Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America

A dire report prepared for President Medvedev by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources is warning today that the British Petroleum (BP) oil and gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico is about to become the worst environmental catastrophe in all of human history threatening the entire eastern half of the North American continent with “total destruction”.

Russian scientists are basing their apocalyptic destruction assessment due to BP’s use of millions of gallons of the chemical dispersal agent known as Corexit 9500 which is being pumped directly into the leak of this wellhead over a mile under the Gulf of Mexico waters and designed, this report says, to keep hidden from the American public the full, and tragic, extent of this leak that is now estimated to be over 2.9 million gallons a day.

The dispersal agent Corexit 9500 is a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by the Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, Illinois that 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. Even worse, according to this report, with higher water temperatures, like those now occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, its toxicity grows.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in discovering BP’s use of this dangerous dispersal agent ordered BP to stop using it, but BP refused stating that their only alternative to Corexit 9500 was an even more dangerous dispersal agent known as Sea Brat 4.

The main differences between Corexit 9500 and Sea Brat 4 lie in how long these dangerous chemicals take to degrade into their constituent organic compounds, which for Corexit 9500 is 28 days.  Sea Brat 4, on the other hand, degrades into an organic chemical called Nonylphenol that is toxic to aquatic life and can persist in the environment for years.

A greater danger involving Corexit 9500, and as outlined by Russian scientists in this report, is that with its 2.61ppm toxicity level, and when combined with the heating Gulf of Mexico waters, its molecules will be able to “phase transition” from their present liquid to a gaseous state allowing them to be absorbed into clouds and allowing their release as “toxic rain” upon all of Eastern North America.

Even worse, should a Katrina like tropical hurricane form in the Gulf of Mexico while tens of millions of gallons of Corexit 9500 are sitting on, or near, its surface the resulting “toxic rain” falling upon the North American continent could “theoretically” destroy all microbial life to any depth it reaches resulting in an “unimaginable environmental catastrophe” destroying all life forms from the “bottom of the evolutionary chart to the top”

continue reading toxic oil rains..

2 comments:

  1. That sounds horrid. Has the international scientific community outside Russia gotten behind this?

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  2. i have the product specs on corexit 9500 and they're not good, the LD50 was about half that of diesel fuel...so it goes without saying that inhaling or exposure to airborne particles, even such as you'd get with wave action, wouldnt be good...

    we have no record of a hurricane having crossed over a major spill...the ixtoc 1 spill was the greatest gulf spill to date, and the closest a hurricane got to that was 35MPH winds...there are some who think a hurricane will clean the beaches; there are some who think we'll end up with a lot of oily surfaces inland...obviously, whatever the hurricane picks up as it goes over the spill ends up in the rain that falls inland...the question is how diluted, and i dont think anyone knows yet...

    we're already guinea pigs in a toxic test tube of our own making....well over 3000 known environmental carcinogens, who knows how they all react in various admixtures?

    so although im inclined to feel that there's some doomsday exaggeration in that piece, the premise is sound...there are already reports of people in the gulf getting sick from exposure, and two weeks ago they were already planning to evacuate the elderly from tampa/st pete if the oil should approach the bay & they have to try to burn off a slick nearby...

    here's the product specs on corexit 9500: http://www.cleancaribbean.org/docs/COREXIT_9500_UsCuEg.PDF

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