The BP Corexit Japanese Connection – Why Toxic Solvents Were Used & Covered Up

We knew there was something fishy going on, but couldn’t figure out what it might be.  Why did BP and the EPA keep on using Nalco’s Corexit, which is highly toxic to both humans and wildlife?  Turns out that Rodney F. Chase, who sits on the board of Nalco, was also a BP board member.  Likelihood that he still holds shares in both companies is very high.  So it wasn’t JUST nepotism, it was a for-profit choice.

But it runs deeper than that.  Corexit’s manufacturer, Nalco Holding Company is owned by the Blackstone Group (along with MANY other holdings, a huge investment conglomerate.)  Blackstone has had Japanese investors for many years, but relatively recently doubled that investment; The Japanese now own 20% of Blackstone.  What else does Blackstone own?  Large hotel chains, Banquet foods, Seaworld, Six Flags… you name it!  Most captive dolphins are in amusement parks like Seaworld, Six Flags, etc.   Seaworld claims they have no connection to the dolphin slaughters in Japan (which were documented in the Oscar-award-winning movie “The Cove“).  That’s simply not true. 

With all of the deceptions, all of the many layers of big-money connections, there’s only one thing certain: If BP is saying something, WE MUST QUESTION the validity. If they tell a small truth, it’s to cover up the big picture, a bigger liability.

We’ll give you more about this as we have the time, but for now, know that BP and Corexit are financially intertwined, as are the Japanese, who actively hunt whales and dolphins for meat and to sell to amusement parks.  Like their filthy oil, this stinks!

Research, Editorial, and Opinion Submitted to the Protect The Ocean Blog by John Taylor

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  1. Britt Haddock says:

    Nalco Company is a publicly traded company and has more of a connection to Warren Buffet than to the Blackstone Group. That private investment group has not been involved with Nalco in several years. Try to do a better job on your research. Lazy piecing together of old information to make a conspiracy theory hurts your credibility.

    • John Taylor says:

      You think for one second that the man who sat on both boards doesn’t hold a financial interest in them both? Shall we go there? Okay. Daniel Sanders, President of Exxon, which still has holdings in Nalco, is also affiliated with Most of the Nalco board, including Erik Fyrwald, Mary VanDeWeghe from Lockheeed Martin & Nalco, Paul O’Neil, Anjan Mukherjee, James Quella and Ben Jenkins from the Blackstone Group … and a cast of others. Still wanna tell me about how Blackstone hasn’t got anything to do with this?

      How much do they pay you to run around trying to make us look like we’re conspiracy theorists wearing tinfoil hats? Funny, but everything we have warned about since this happened has come to pass EXACTLY as we said it would. The solvents are burying the oil beneath the surface, where it can’t be cleaned. Corexit is doing damage to the grasslands, the oil has spread… and BP’s best attempts still look like something out of a grade school science project.

      Next time you try to discredit, do YOUR homework. It takes less than 3 minutes to come up with this.

  2. Abigail Lawrence says:

    Nice hack piece. Please do your research. The Corexit product is not highly toxic. We really do need to do a better job of teaching science in this country so that when such events occur, people are not running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

  3. Sarah says:

    You are right… not highly toxic to humans… moderately toxic to humans (may possibly cause unconsciousness, and central nervous system depression)

    Why not simply read the MSDS on it before proclaiming it “Safe” Ms. Lawerence?

    Does central nervous system depression sound like grand fun to you?

    P.S. I used to work as a fisheries biologist for the NMFS. I am currently retired.

  4. Kevin says:

    According to the EPA, Corexit is more toxic and less effective than alternative products from other manufacturers. You might want to check the following page:


    So there has to be a reason why BP prefers to continue using this specific dispersant even after the EPA advised them to use an alternative, more effective and less toxic dispersant. As long as BP and Nalco cannot provide solid scientific data to prove that Corexit is the best of all alternatives, a for-profit choice seems quite plausible.


    • John Taylor says:

      If you look at other entries here on PTO, you’ll find there is for-profit cause and connection. You’ll also find documentation to prove that Corexit is 4 times as toxic as the oil itself, and more.


  5. Robert Jones says:

    Question,,,,, is the Dispersant, which is WORKING WELL, more or less toxic than the crude oil leaking from the well?

    ANSWER – it is much less toxic. It works and has worked very well.

    Note: Hello Mr. Jones – I would like to extend the opportunity for your organization to forward any information that would help readers understand how the application of (your companies) dispersal agents improve the overall environmental impact of the oil spill from a long term perspective. Submissions can be made via our Contact Form.

    • John Taylor says:


      1) Dispersant solvent Corexit is NOT working well for any purposes other than helping BP bury the oil below the surface. In fact,
      2) it is 4 times as toxic as the crude itself. In fact, the solvent causes CNS damage, skin irritation (including burns).

      On a personal note, I don’t buy into you putting MD after your name on a hotmail account. Please take the disinformation attempts elsewhere. Thank you.


  6. N. says:

    BP PLC continues to stockpile and deploy oil-dispersing chemicals manufactured by a company with which it shares close ties, even though other U.S. EPA-approved alternatives have been shown to be far less toxic and, in some cases, nearly twice as effective.

    After the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and a deepwater well began gushing crude in the Gulf of Mexico three weeks ago, BP quickly marshaled a third of the world’s available supply of dispersants, chemicals that break surface oil slicks into microscopic droplets that can sink into the sea.

    But the benefits of keeping some oil out of beaches and wetlands carry uncertain costs. Scientists warn that the dispersed oil, as well as the dispersants themselves, might cause long-term harm to marine life.

    So far, BP has told federal agencies that it has applied more than 400,000 gallons of a dispersant sold under the trade name Corexit and manufactured by Nalco Co., whose current leadership includes executives from BP and Exxon. And another 805,000 gallons of Corexit are on order, the company said, with the possibility that hundreds of thousands of more gallons may be needed if the well continues spewing oil for weeks or months.

    But according to EPA data, Corexit ranks far above dispersants made by competitors in toxicity and far below them in effectiveness in handling southern Louisiana crude.

    Of 18 dispersants whose use EPA has approved, 12 were found to be more effective on southern Louisiana crude than Corexit, EPA data show. Two of the 12 were found to be 100 percent effective on Gulf of Mexico crude, while the two Corexit products rated 56 percent and 63 percent effective, respectively. The toxicity of the 12 was shown to be either comparable to the Corexit line or, in some cases, 10 or 20 times less, according to EPA.

    EPA has not taken a stance on whether one dispersant should be used over another, leaving that up to BP. All the company is required to do is to choose an EPA-approved chemical, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters yesterday during a conference call aimed at addressing questions about dispersants being used in efforts to contain the Gulf spill.

    “Our regular responsibilities say, if it’s on the list and they want to use it, then they are preauthorized to do so,” Jackson said.

    One explanation for BP’s reliance on Nalco’s Corexit, which its competitors say dominates the niche market for dispersants because of its industry ties, was its availability in large quantities at the time of the Gulf spill.

    “Obviously, logistics and stockpiles and the ability for the responsible party to pull the materials together,” Jackson said. “I’m sure that has a lot to do with the ones that they choose.”

    Nonetheless, experts question BP’s sustained commitment to Corexit, given apparently superior alternatives.

    “Why wouldn’t you go for the lesser toxic formulation?” said Carys Mitchelmore, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science. Mitchelmore testified on Capitol Hill this week about dispersants and co-authored a 2005 National Academy of Sciences report on the chemicals.

    BP spokesman Jon Pack defended the use of Corexit, which he said was decided in consultation with EPA. He called Corexit “pretty effective” and said the product had been “rigorously tested.”

    “I’m not sure about the others,” Pack said. “This has been used by a number of major companies as an effective, low-toxicity dispersant.”

    BP is not considering or testing other dispersants because the company’s attention is focused on plugging the leak and otherwise containing the spill, Pack said.

    “That has to be our primary focus right now,” he said.

    Nalco spokesman Charlie Pajor said the decision on what to use was out of his company’s hands. He also declined to comment on EPA comparison tests, saying only that lab conditions cannot necessarily replicate those in the field. “The decision about what’s used is made by others — not by us,” he said.

    Nalco’s connections

    Critics say Nalco, which formed a joint venture company with Exxon Chemical in 1994, boasts oil-industry insiders on its board of directors and among its executives, including an 11-year board member at BP and a top Exxon executive who spent 43 years with the oil giant.

    “It’s a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically,” said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife.

    The older of the two Corexit products that BP has used in the Gulf spill, Corexit 9527, was also sprayed in 1989 on the 11-million-gallon slick created by the Exxon Valdez grounding in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

    Cleanup workers suffered health problems afterward, including blood in their urine and assorted kidney and liver disorders. Some health problems were blamed on the chemical 2-butoxyethanol, an ingredient discontinued in the latest version of Corexit, Corexit 9500, whose production Nalco officials say has been ramped up in response to the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

    Among Corexit’s competitors, a product called Dispersit far outpaced Corexit 9500, EPA test results show, rating nearly twice as effective and between half and a third as toxic, based on two tests performed on fish and shrimp.

    Bruce Gebhardt, president of the company that manufactures Dispersit, U.S. Polychemical Corp., said BP asked for samples of his company’s product two weeks ago. Later, he said, BP officials told him that EPA had wanted to ensure they had “crossed all their T’s and dotted all their I’s” before moving forward.

    Gebhardt says he could make 60,000 gallons a day of Dispersit to meet the needs of spill-containment efforts. Dispersit was formulated to outperform Corexit and got EPA approval 10 years ago, he said, but the dispersant has failed to grab market share from its larger rival.

    “When we came out with a safer product, we thought people would jump on board,” he said. “That’s not the case. We were never able to move anyone of any size off the Corexit product.”

    He added, “We’re just up against a giant.”

    Copyright 2010 E&E Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

    For more news on energy and the environment, visit http://www.greenwire.com.
    Greenwire is published by Environment & Energy Publishing. Read More »

    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: May 14, 2010

    Nalco and Exxon Chemical Company formed a joint venture company in 1994 called Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals L.P. Nalco was acquired in 1999 by the multinational corporation then called Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, which eventually bought out Exxon Mobil’s interest in the joint venture in 2001. An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the Nalco-Exxon connection.

  7. Sarah says:

    I guess if you have enough money to grease the palms, HIGHLY TOXIC is defined as anything that can kill you instantly from a mile away. Anything less is only moderately, or mildly toxic and suitable to feed to newborns and pregnant mothers.

    The poisons we tolerate amaze me. Just look at the crap we are willing to expose ourselves to because some government agency rubber stamps it! For perfect examples only on a smaller scale…just listen to a pharma ad: “…May cause seizures, coma or death.” But since some government agency said it is safe, we willingly ingest, inject, breathe, subject ourselves to whatever poison they dump on us.

    They feed the elderly Warfarin like it was going out of style. What is Warfarin? A blood thinner …..*mumbles* and rat poison *mumble*.

    Even the EPA raised hell about this chemical though. However, they also went before Congress and raised hell about the toxicity of Fluoridated drinking water….but your still drinking it too aren’t you?

    Remember…It’s good for you! Just ask the desperate fishermen willing to die (and getting there fast) helping with this clean up in order to put a morsel of bread on their families now empty (thanks to BP) tables. These guys are True Heros.

  8. kelly ahearn says:

    I started wading through a heap of reading trying to comprehend how they all were linked and leave it to you to have it all sitting here….thank you!….working on trying to push the story here in rural Pa…if you have any tips to get a small town editor of a weekly paper to pick it up let me know…again thank you for always having the valid info…

  9. Someone says:

    In a 500 gallon reef aquarium, for sure A drop of crude will devastate the system. 1/8 of a drop of biodegradable soap, will do the same in a freshwater also. Why? Nitrobacteria, essential for aquatic life as well as Atmosphere based life. The big problem is what we are going to cause with all decaying matter from dead wildlife, the amount of ammonia plus the input from the Pacific Patch of plastic is going to reset the system. Have anyone had to reset an aquarium and go through the Nitrogen cycle? Some stuff survives. But it does not last.
    We should all die, and leave this paradise alone.

  10. Lane G says:

    One important point that has not been brought up is the amount of money that BP gave to
    Obama’s campaign. The current administration has DEEP ties to BP. The blame for this disaster
    should be shared between this administration and BP. Just ask people living in affected areas of the Gulf coast how much BP or the federal government have done to help the situation. Most if not all will tell you that they have done more to HINDER clean-up efforts in coastal communities.

    The EPA could have forced BP to use a safer alternative to Corexit 9500. I am a microbiologist and
    research scientist in the sportfishing industry. Our company is FDA and Texas Department of
    Health registered. I can tell you that Corexit 9500 is INDEED harmful to humans and wildlife.
    Even at lower levels this chemical has the potential to damage the liver, kidneys and red blood
    cells in humans.

    Until the relief well has been completed, various methods of containment should be used. Capturing oil at the surface is one of the safest and best ways to help contain the spill. Oil consuming bacteria is another along with judicious use of, “Dispersit”, which is safer and more
    effective on sweet crude than Corexit 9500. Sweet crude is LESS TOXIC than Corexit 9500.
    In this case the cure that they have chosen to use is worst than the disease.

    ALL CURRENT and PENDING BP contracts here in the US should be STOPPED! Congress should
    IMMEDIATELY remove LIABILITY CAPS on ENERGY COMPANIES. If that done, companies would
    NOT CUT CORNERS due to the liability risks. The courts, NOT THE OBAMA administration should
    decide to amount of liability that BP will pay victims. The damage will exceed 20 billion in no time. IMO it will exceed one trillion to clean up and restore coastal communities and their habitats.

  11. PsyKoesis says:

    – I should not be ashamed of my own government. It has clearly forgotten it’s true duties, and it should be investigated for fraudulent behaviour in every sector by a group of journalists publicly voted upon. My generation, and the 100’s that I wish to come after it, should not be stricken with fear over connections of government and corporations. The new constitution should have been written by the people in 2000. Times have changed, and so should our relationship with our Ocean, that we so foolishly still call Earth.

  12. sundog says:

    You should look at the connection between NALCO and Monsanto, and you should also read the Washington Post Story that highlights that BP made 980 Million dollars from their contracts with the DOD FY2010 alone. They provide most of the fuel and petroleum products to our troops in the Middle East. I wondered why my govt is acting as an agent for BP, and to me this story says it all. The Military Industrial Complex is worried about loosing their cheap supply of fuel.


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