What’s in Corexit — from the Horse’s Mouth

Here’s a list of what is reported to be the chemical components in Corexit:

Chemical Name

  • 1,2-Propanediol
  • Ethanol, 2-butoxy- (only in Corexit 9527)
  • Butanedioic acid, 2-sulfo-, 1,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl) ester, sodium salt (1:1)
  • Sorbitan, mono-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate
  • Sorbitan, mono-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate, poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) derivs.
  • Sorbitan, tri-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate, poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) derivs
  • 2-Propanol, 1-(2-butoxy-1-methylethoxy)-
  • Distillates (petroleum), hydrotreated light

A Nalco spokesman claims that “Both COREXIT dispersants have been approved by the EPA as part of the National Contingency Plan for treating oil spills.” What they don’t bother to mention is the circumstances for which they are approved, and that the approved dispersal method does NOT allow for it to be used sub-surface. In fact, as we reported earlier in this ecological disaster, the EPA and BP are specifically prohibited from using it in that fashion by the Clean Water Act of 1972. (CWA) Read more

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Gulf Oil Spill: BP Trying To Hide Millions of Gallons of Toxic Oil?

BP Embraces Exxon’s Toxic Dispersant, Ignores Safer Alternative

It has been confirmed that the dispersal agent being used by BP and the government is Corexit 9500, a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, IL.  Their stock took a sharp jump, up more than 18% at its highest point of the day today, after it was announced that their product is the one being used in the Gulf.  Nalco’s CEO, Erik Frywald, expressed their commitment to “helping the people and environment of the Gulf Coast recover as rapidly as possible.”  It may be that the best way to help  would be to remove their product from the fray.  Take a look at some of the facts about Corexit 9500:

A report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. entitled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview” states that “Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527,  and Corexit 9580 have moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans and mollusks (LC50 or EC50 – 1.6 to 100 ppm*).  It goes on to say that decreasing water temperatures in lab tests showed decreased toxicity, a lowered uptake of the dispersant.  Unfortunately, we’re going to be seeing an increase in temperatures, not a decrease.  Amongst the other caveats is that the study is species-specific, that other animals may be more severely affected, silver-sided fish amongst them.

Oil is toxic at 11 ppm while Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 ppm; Corexit 9500 is four times as toxic as the oil itself.  Sure, a lot less of it is being introduced, but that’s still a flawed logical perspective, because it’s not a “lesser of two evils” scenario.  BOTH are going into the ocean water. Read more

No Matter What, We Pay The Price

When the Exxon ship lost its crude and the oil covered the Alaskan shoreline, there were suits and settlements, and many people up there wiping off rocks and trying to save animals. The spill was expensive, but the biggest price wasn’t paid by the oil companies or the government. It was paid by the ocean and its inhabitants.

When we make plastics, some of the toxic chemicals used in that manufacturing end up in the oceans. In at least one such case, the making of PVC was directly attributed to a herd of Baluga whales sloughing off their skin, at the mouth of the Hudson Bay.

Where there are paper mills, there are tons of pollutants in the foul water being dumped into the ocean. While recycling remains less than profitable, expect the paper mills to produce that much more stench and pollution. It seems Recycling is only the In Thing when it pays to do so. How many of you will pay to have your plastics and paper and tin recycled instead of having it buried in a landfill? Once again, the ocean will pay.

“So long as it’s not me, I can’t afford to pay anything more,” some will say. But it is you. It’s you, and me, and everyone else, and our kids and grandkids, the future that we’re borrowing this earth from. We ALL pay the price.

The ocean may seem strange and foreign to some. Some may even find that difference downright intimidating… and yet the ocean is a part of us, intrinsically linked to us. Its health and well-being are our own. They cannot be separated, and we dare not try to see the two as separate entities.

Paying for recycling may seem wrong, but we’re paying no matter what. The ocean pays, and the ocean is us.

“By protecting the ocean, we bring life and health to ourselves.”