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UPDATED: EPA Reveals What's In Gulf Oil Spill Dispersants


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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
01 July 2010, 10:20 AM
Earthjustice demanded ingredient information, will seek expert opinions
Dispersant sprayed in Gulf of Mexico

<Update 7/1: EPA has released results of its first round of chemical testing of dispersants used in the Gulf. The report downplays toxicity, but as scientist/blogger Richard Denison points out - the report offers little new information and still leaves unresolved the bigger questions, such as what toxicity occurs when dispersants and oil combine, and what happens when that highly dispersed oil/dispersant brew is spread across vast areas and throughout the water column.>

<Update: A month after promising to test the toxicity of dispersants used against the Gulf oil spill, the EPA has yet to complete those tests - meanwhile more than 1.4 million gallons have been dumped in the Gulf with unmeasured consequences, reports Mother Jones. EPA's position is that the dispersants are less toxic than the oil, but that raises the question: are we just adding to the total toxicity of the spill?

<Update: Check out the latest information on the toxic potential of ingredients in oil dispersants>

The government wouldn't dare let a doctor give out an experimental drug without years of extensive testing, yet it has allowed British Petroleum to flood the Gulf of Mexico with more than a million gallons of a secret chemical compound in an untested experiment on human communities, hundreds of animal species, and myriad ecological systems.

We're talking about Corexit and other dispersants, made up of classified chemicals and spread over and injected into Gulf waters to break up BP's oil spill. The spill alone is in many ways unmatched in human history, scientists say, and because of dispersants may be wreaking special devastation in the Gulf. Aside from the fact that dispersants never before have been used on such a vast scale, we have been forced to guess at the danger they pose because BP and the dispersants' manufacturer refused to reveal the ingredients.

Today, after Earthjustice demanded the information through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Environmental Protection Agency finally provided a list of what's in these chemical compounds. Now, we can turn to experts to assess their danger. Our clients, the Gulf Restoration Network and Florida Wildlife Federation, who have long worked to protect the Gulf, must know what is happening to its rich fisheries, sea turtles, birds, and entire ecosystem.

At one point, the EPA told BP to quit using Corexit because of its toxicity and to find a less harmful dispersant, but BP ignored the order and the EPA acquiesced. The agency, which is all that stands between us and the toxic effects of dispersants, said the urgency of the spill situation was worth the risk. But, who is to say what the risk is unless we know what is being deliberately put into the waters, how it interacts with oil, and what its inherent toxicity is? BP certainly can't be trusted.

We already know what untreated oil does to us and the environment. It is a thick, suffocating mass that kills and maims mostly in upper water columns and as it comes ashore, is visually horrifying and creates economic havoc in the tourism and fishing industries. Dispersants are supposed to neutralize some of that harm, but what we are seeing with this Gulf spill is unlike anything we've seen before.

Even without dispersants, the oil likely would be found throughout the water column because it is flowing from a mile deep at hundreds of miles per hour. But, dispersants have been injected directly into that oil as it escapes and have been spread by boat and plane across hundreds of square miles of surface. BP tried to convince us that most of that oil disappeared, but scientists have found clouds of oil particles and droplets miles wide and long, hovering at various depths from the sea floor where many creatures dwell to surface waters where most fish and other animals feed and spawn.

One plume is 15 miles wide, 3 miles long and about 600 feet thick. Scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia, who led an expedition tracking the oil plumes, says: "The primary producers—the base of the food web in the ocean—is going to be altered. There's no doubt about that. We have no idea what dispersants are going to do to microorganisms. We know they are toxic to many larvae." Of special concern is the larvae of the endangered western bluefin tuna, which spawns exclusively in these Gulf waters. Of no less concern is the harm we all have seen to oiled birds, turtles, dolphin, and fish.

And then there are the long-range potential impacts on human health. Dispersants don't eliminate oil, they make it less visually obvious by breaking it into small pieces spread over a vast area and throughout the depths. This makes the oil/dispersant droplets available to all the life forms that may ingest it and in turn are ingested. Anything in the oil or attached to it are thus entering the food chain. We know about oil's toxic components - human carcinogens like napthalenes, benzene, toluene and xylenes—but we don't know about the dispersants that are partnering with it.

Nalco, the manufacturer of Corexit, put out a release trying to allay concerns about the ingredients in its dispersants, but its statement raises more concerns than it answers. First, it asserts that all of the ingredients "have been determined safe and effective by the EPA." While the Food and Drug Administration makes such determinations for drugs, the Toxics Substances Control Act is so weak that it does not require that EPA make such safety findings before chemicals are allowed on the market. That is why a diverse health, environmental, and labor coalition (including Earthjustice) are calling for an overhaul of that law.

Second, Nalco tries to prove that the dispersant's ingredients are safe by pointing to their presence in cosmetics, lotions and stain blockers. That offers little comfort. Cosmetics and lotions often contain phthalates, which have been associated with reproductive impacts and endocrine disruption. And some stain blockers contain ingredients classified as cancer-causing or neurotoxins.

When we have more information about how the dispersant ingredients work, we will let you know.

Well done! Thank you very much for professional templates and community edition
lineturk

I think its very commanding and very challenging situation for all the groups ..who had been keeping eye on the transaction of the widening of roads..they are adversely conjured hence people facing problems in it. sesli chat

reading this makes me so sad. doing something rather than nothing. see what i've been doing to help. http://lifeinprogress-jesslope.blogspot.com/2010/08/oil-spill.html

The pollutants we add to our oceans act in a cumulative manner. No one knows how much is too much to destroy the most important ecosystem on the planet and one that all life depends upon. BP says it will "clean up every drop?" How much more blatant of a lie can they offer? Add the toxic dispersants and it's like a death blow. I fear humanity treads on the precarious edge of self-annihilation. If we do not stop these profit-driven interests from ruining everything they touch, they will destroy us all. If we don't cease our cavalier poisoning of the planet, and the destruction of entire habitats and species of life, then perhaps we don't deserve to be the dominant species here and all other life on Earth would be much better off without our mindless, disconnected presence. sesli sohbet

It's just like how EPA treated New Yorkers after 9/11:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mzuG2Hndec

This entire epasode is on the level of the 60's - 70's era of discrimination and anti-war protest. We all need to take to the streets again to force the message we will not stand for this carp anymore. Action is needed! The politiaians are as much to blame as the gas sucking pickup truck & SUV driver. I have installed solar, I ride a motorcycle or a bycycle to limit my use of oil. What have you done?

Obama is turning out to be the joke everyone hoped he would not be. Our entire political system has been taken over by crooks (laywers) and subversives (aliens).

P.S. BP must die!

I have for weeks before the Gulf hurricane season urged our government and the media to hire our own super-tankers, encircle the well at a safe radius (10-15 miles) and pump surface oil onboard to be processed. We must have tanker capacity sufficient to keep up with the flow rate until the well is secured. New Orleans is a deep water port. Now that there finally is a super skimmer on site does it really need to be "tested" for the quality of its discharge water? I can tell you now it will not be potable drinking quality. Stop wasting valuable time and put this boat to work. The EPA and other agencies are delaying again because they are in bed with BP. A Whale has completed it's testing off the Pourtugese Coast. BP just does not want to pay for it's use quite yet. When this gusher began the Obama administration refused help from 10 other countries with super tankers. If our response had been immediate the damage to our beaches and wildlife would be minimal.

The ex-president of Shell Oil suggested this a month ago on CNN but was apparently ignored. The Saudis used super tankers and retrieved 80% of their surface oil. They also knew that the use of dispersants would render the oil unretrievable, nor did they discuss it for 2 months. BP is still using dispersants. The myriad of US agencies involved in this disaster are directionless.......they get in each other's way while dolphins and precious turtles die.

The Coast Guard could coordinate the super tanker operations instead of counting life jackets. Get the oil off the water now and stop measuring it, discussing it, flying over it, testing, or should we wait for another tropical storm in the Gulf, Sir? The reason the oil is washing ashore is because the tides scatter the rising oil at about 3 mph. By the time the crude surfaces it is far out of sight. The skimmer boats at the well site are useless except at slack tide and are there so BP can claim they are there. They should operate as close to shore as possible to protect the beaches and marshes. Residents hardly ever see them close in...just oil.

As for our president, I suggest that you deal with this mess Mr. Obama before we ruin an ocean. History will judge this disaster as your legacy because of your failure to act. You are a mere observer motivated by politics. The White House comment line in 202-456-1111 but no one is listening.

Protect Our Waters, Inc. ("POW") is a newly-formed Florida nonprofit corporation with headquarters in Sarasota. Our main mission at the moment is to protest the use of the dispersants in the Gulf.

Thanks to Earth Justice for all you are doing. POW would like to help with your litigation and in other ways.

EcoDwell International’s
Comprehensive Plan for Coastal Oil Spill

Project Clean Coast

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stated,
” Because of record amounts of Methane leaking into the Gulf Region, it will dramatically reduce the natural rate of decay of the oil in the Gulf!”
For this reason, it is imperative you read what we can do before it is too late as we have proven safe technology. Waiting is not an option anymore!
Executive Summary for Gulf and Coastal Remediation
The disaster in and around the Gulf is unprecedented in our history. Our team of partners has put in place a plan to address all factors of bringing back to life the Gulf its Marsh & Backwaters
We can start remediation with our Enzyme to break down the Complex Hydrocarbon Chains. This can be done to the floating masses of oil at and below the surface. We also believe we can treat the Plume area better than is being done presently.
1 – The Plume is being treated with surfactant and toxic dispersant. It is by all estimations going to continue into August and possibly further. It is our plan to have the submersible use our Food Grade Enzyme with surfactant to be infused into the plume area.
Upon reaching a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the Enzyme would start to crack the complex chains hydrocarbon chains. With the proper metering to oil escaping ratio, the surfactant would stick to the simple chains until gone. The size or volume would be decreased after cracking process. The oil now would be food for the indigenous bacteria. As the chain is now decreased, the bacteria can grow rapidly. The process is safe and does not affect the zooplankton, fish, or crustations in the area at the mitigation site or through the entire process.
This should be changed now!
2 – The masses in the open ocean should be sprayed from the air by properly equipped dusting planes.
This process is far better than skimming as we can reach more oil mass and start turning it into simple carbon food chains. Our enzyme is safe and is not a problem for birds or aquatic life that could encounter it.
After spraying, it would be good to have the second step to ensure proper dispersement into the oil. The second step would be to use fireboats to suck and pump the oil and water and meter in more enzyme by volume. This also could be done with ships equipped with suction pumps and the mixing would occur that way to insure remediation starts.
The Point - Even if the oil is not skimmed or picked up, it has started its change to food instead of being a toxic pollutant.
This should be done immediately!
3 – Marsh & Backwater – We have two solutions for the fragile ecosystem. First to spray and mix in the enzyme in order to change the oil from toxin to food.
The mixing process will be less difficult for the enzyme as even small boat propellers will mix the oil & water mixture into an accelerated process.
Our specially enriched soil process would then be employed to bring the Marsh into the wetland supporting all life forms indigenous to that ecosystem. There are no harmful chemicals – everything is green and natural.

4 - Our Electrocoagulation units can suck up oil and water and coagulate it by busting the proteins and turning the benzene into a harmless oxide. Oil residues that are coagulated can be put back into the water without being a threat to wildlife. No problems of hauling of oil & water mixes.
Any other things such as heavy metals like arsenic & lead that may be present also would be turned into harmless oxides with no need of dumpsites. They can go right back into the water settling on the bottom.
Another bonus for the Gulf area is that the pesticides & herbicides from run-off upstream would be taken out also.
Finally, the Gulf area would benefit in respect to pesticides & herbicides from runoff upstream would be taken out.
Oil & water separators (such as Kevin Costner’s machines) do not and cannot do this!

Detailed information with all licenses, MSDS documents, patents, customer lists and certification will be provided.

We believe that if the oil had treated with our products on the surface, no oil would be troubling the Gulf States from the open ocean. With proper mixing, the oil will be gone in under 30 days!

Nalco is (or was in 2004) a subsidiary of Suez, a french company. They make a variety of water system products. Not sure they have the expertise for oil and sea water...... certainly not on this scale...... The fact that the dispersant chemicals are used in cosmetics etc means nothing. A nano-gram vs hundreds of thousands of gallons.... force fed to life forms that are SO small and so delicate.

As I watch this castrophic event, I am sickened and left without words to express my dismay and pain for the life being exterminated and the INEPT response. With my experience in crisis communications in the environmental industry, while I dislike it, I completely understand the process taking place... the inaction, the attorneys meeting to mitigate kiability, the government's perusal of regulations trying to see what was violated and who can be fined how much..... meantime a REAL emergency has been going on for all these days, and no cohesive action is taking place. No matter the number of boats if they run around in disorganized circles.... no matter the number of clean-up crews if they wander the beaches looking for possible problems rather than formulating a plan and a worst case scenario. Where are the projections? Where are the wind rose calculations that might determine the push of oil? Where are the revised contingency plans to respond to current conditions? and where is the action plan? Corrective measures? nada nada nada. Makes me sick. Literally ill.

While I am here... my opinion is that dispersants are nothing but a way to make the problem invisable... not a fix, not a solution, not safe. Better to SEE the enemy and let it beach, where we have tools to clean... better to skim from the surface with the antique methods .. than to give it a cloak if invisibility and guess at solutions deep within the water column.

EC 9527 A

Is the correct designation for what they are using, plus the EC 9500 .

@ 34F and 2200 PSI on the bottom, and at these temps and pressure the crude outflow is only similar to the tested EPA stats for a second, then it cools and is off the charts as to the safe use.

In fact the crude just seconds after leaving the wellhead is like honey and the glycol in the EC9527 A is seperate from the sourinding sea water and forms its own subsea lake of concentrate a killer to any living thing.

All objections to this practice should be directed directly to the public officals who approve this paractice the director of the EPA, and the USCG commander Adm Allen who have earned the scorn of any citizen in the spill area. They took an oath to protect with the office they hold, and they instead have not even come close to it, let the press know how these officals have contributed and caused another disaster and stolen the life of all bio's in this region.

At one time the USCG represnented hope and action to save life, now it does the opposite under the organization command of DHS has gone far from its mission when it was part of the DOD. Now it is part of a combination of little action and misuse of assets and mission as if the "Stockholm syndrum" caught from BP has taken all honor and logic of its actions.

Thank you for the discussion on the surfactant behavior. Clearly mixing a toxin with a dispersant means better dispersion of a toxin. The dillution has been shown to be far less than sufficient to mitigate the dangers. Until an intelligent method of blocking the flow is implemented, skimmers are likely the better hope of reducing bioligical damage than hiding the oil underwater. This only occurs if the oil floats to the surface. Darell Engelhaupt

The Gulf is done! It can't be cleaned. It is ridiculous and liken to absorbing all the water out of a toilet bowl with just one paper towel.

Not gonna happen.

People need to move forward into better utilizing their resources for advanced adaptation. How can you make such a situation (crisis) work for you instead of against you.

BP is done. Its a wrap.
The bigger they are the harder they fall.

There is no sense in propagating the myth that such a spill which is still spewing at a greater rate, can be contained.

Okay so even if they completely cap the breach. There is no way to restore the billions of lives lost at sea. There is no way to restore the ecosystem or dissolve the oil beyond the earths natural way of doing it over the next few thousand years.

The only thing that can get rid of it is time. Lots of time. More than our lifetimes worth.

In the mean-time, pimps and prostitutes can populate the hotels and replace the tourists that might normally be vacationing in the region.

OMG.

From what is published, approximately 20,000 solutions, of which 700 are supposedly under review, have been submitted directly to BP, to plug the leak. Accordingly these range from explosives (applied by experts); waterjet saws with chain trackers to form a clean cut for other applications; various devices which use inversion techniques to jam like "umbrellas" or more specifically, shaped charge liners; a rapid liquid filling - inflatable bladder, around the already tried smaller insertion tube (my own); and the 10 year-old's (father's) idea of removing all but two bolts and inserting a plate, then tightening those two bolts. What is missing is the summit "meeting of the minds". Put aside ancient laws protecting the company rather than the environment and call those knowledgable in the field. What is happening is of such magnitude numerically that it overwhelms the common sense approaches. The oil is at about 6,400 psi and there is a counterforce of 2,100 psi from the sea water at 1 mile depth. So at 4,300 net psi and 20 inches diameter, the force applied is about 1.35 million pounds! (EPA calculation of pressure based on flow rate and other available data). This is probably very conservative and based on a flow rate of ~ 1 million gallons oil/day. It could easily be twice that. It was demonstrated that a smaller tube with sufficient suction by large pumps could be inserted into the casing for a mile. If this approach were used with an external inflatable bladder, an incompressible fluid could be pumped into a 200 foot section and with 0.3 coeficient of friction (~ sandpaper on steel in oil), given proper materials and design, it would hold. Unfortunately for all the good ideas, no implementable, tried hardware is available. Most could be manufactured quickly by many and tested quickly (WWII Rosie the Riveter approach) as well. But there is little decision making and very poor oversight or this calamity would not be happening in my opinion.

To address the present issue of surfactants; if toxins (oil) are added to salt water via surfactant to form an emulsion, is not the poison the toxins? The surfactants permit this to be 'out-of-sight out-of-mind' rather than separation by floatation, which otherwise occurs, permitting the (belated) skimmers to remove it. It is of little consequence or benefit if the surfactant on its own merit is non-toxic. Darell Engelhaupt

I don't know why bp just doesn't take a cork and put it in the pipe and then put a concret slab over it. It's really as simple as that!!!!!

Hey everyone:

A new concept let's not buy gas at BP anymore. Since we must depend on big oil we still

have a choice - choose better. Let BP know we are not happy. Driving by BP's in Florida it

angers me to still see many people stopping at BP to help them destroy our planet. The birds,

dolphins & marine animals thank you.

STOP No BP

BP No Good!

BP Stinks!

I think that we should just not buy oil anymore. Yes, it seems we should "punish" BP but there are articles that have come out saying that BP gas stations are independently owned. You are hurting a small business owner, not the corporate multi-national -granted this business owner is in the business of buying oil.

Look if you really want to do some good. Look at your own life first. We are all responsible for this mess. Every since one of us. Do you use plastic bags? I'm talking about the ones from the grocery store, ziplock types that keep our food fresh, trash bags .... what kind of personal products do you buy? Did you know that many of our products have petroleum in them -if you can't read the ingredients on a bottle or don't know what they are, maybe you shouldn't be using them. If you want more information about that, please visit the Environmental Working Group's website www.ewg.org. PS Don't be fooled by "natural" -you want it to say "organic" because at least that term has some regulation whereas "natural" has none.

Even so, what do your personal products come in, plastic containers? How about the food you buy? What kind of plastic packaging do you find on your purchases. THINK! Look hard!

Why am I bringing this up??!!!! PLASTIC = OIL PLASTIC = OIL PLASTIC = OIL

Do you recycle? Do you eat a lot of meat? Where does your food come from? Are you supporting local farmer's markets or do you buy from a grocery store that purchases food from 1500 miles away? Do you know? ... You should find out. Do you eat organic foods?

Why does this all matter?

If you don't recycle, then you create the demand for more plastics and the transportation of these items. If you eat a lot of meat, especially if it's not local, it's coming somewhere far and that adds up to GAS! If you are not eating organic foods, then you support the use of both fertilizers and pesticides that are made from OIL!

Yes, your idea is "good" but before you go looking to punish someone, look at your own life first. Change starts with us, the individual. If we are aware, we can change our behaviors, and when we first change ourselves, others will follow. So yes, don't buy from BP stations but there is a lot more you can do.

Cheers,

Janine
Green Wave
www.inspiringwavesofchange.org

What I want to know is what symptoms do people have who are experiencing problems? My husband is a Congestive Heart Failure patient. He meets with his doctor in a few weeks. He has had headaches, sore throat, foggy thinking, and chest pains lately. He had done so well for nearly a year, we were thinking he was at a standstill. The only thing that changed was the fact we breathe the oil, as we live only 2 miles from one of the areas hit. I, too, have had headaches for the past 2 weeks, sore throat and lost my voice. This is highly unusual for me. I don't get sick, and if I do, I get over it right away. He has insurance, I have none, so I cannot go in and see a doctor. We live from paycheck to paycheck, as I cannot work. It is a full time responsibility to care for him. And to take the money it would require for me to see a doctor, would mean we take that money directly from food and gas money for sheer survival. It is sad to realize we have this situation upon us and that so little is being done. Saddest of all is how Florida officials are far more concerned about loosing the tourist industry, than to protect the health of it's residents.

WE NEED THE TRUTH ABOUT OIL

Going to any beach with oil on it is like chewing razor blades! The oil is loaded with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) . The introduction of chemical dispersants increases the amount of carcinogens in the oil. The federal government should be passing out Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) . They are designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel or people on the beach picking up or walking on tar balls with the proper procedures for handling hazardous material. The oil is a toxic material.

Some people who have breathed or touched mixtures of PAHs and other chemicals for long periods of time have developed cancer. Some PAHs have caused cancer in laboratory animals when they breathed air containing them (lung cancer), ingested them in food (stomach cancer), or had them applied to their skin (skin cancer).

We know this from an oil spill eight years ago in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. On April 27, 2003, eight years ago the Bouchard Barge B-120 hit an obstacle in Buzzards Bay, creating a 12-foot rupture in its hull and discharging an estimated 100,000 gallons of No. 6 oil. The oil is known to have affected an estimated 90 miles of shoreline, numerous bird species, and recreational use of the bay, such as shell fishing and boating.

My Videographer and I were out collecting samples of these "tar balls" for 2 days last week.
He and I both came down with intractable back pain that radiated to our thighs and feet. I have seen Oil Spills and tar balls are not brown and smell like unusual chemicals in the center.
My Feet were Red from this for 2 days and it could not be cleaned off.
We have been sick and in bed now for 3 days since collecting the waste on a "CLEAN" beach in Orange Beach Florida.
It has been sent off to scientists in Calif as no one appears to think out of the box on the Gulf Coast.
We saw cranes digging holes and dumping toxic sludge in holes to cover them up.
If politicians want to know what is really happening get out of your "%#@%$" planes and get out onto the water, look into the eyes of the fishermen and women.
We are being lied to and I am watching a sacred body of water be destroyed along with a way of life for so very many. .
A concerned Reporter.

Ray if you think we need to be more energy concious, then don't you think our government should lead by example. Put Fancy Nancy on a smaller plane, tell Obama to only fly Airforce One when absolutely necessary. No campaigning trips, no date trips, no lets take the plane and fly to Indonesia where I lived as a boy, no shopping trips to Paris.......Airforce One uses a lot of gas and no more photo ops! If the plane that was provided for Fancy Nancy wasn't good enough....fine, let her pay for the difference.....Our government acts like they are kings and queens and should not be subject to the same standards they expect everyone else to live by. Take for instance Al Gore, running around like a real idiot pushing global warming when he uses the amount of power & energy he does to light up his real estate. Or for that matter, if we are in such danger of overuse of energy....then why does he need more than one house to live in (although, he might be getting ready to find out). And, isn't it interesting that a lot of the people pushing global warming and cap & trade, are the ones who stand to gain by it....millions & millions.

I'd like to ask BP, Nalco, and the EPA if they would be willing to ingest this supposedly non-toxic combination of dispersant-crude oil, or if they would even be willing to swim in it! Highly unlikely. Well, in my opinion they are just a bunch of mass murderers (and should be prosecuted as such) that could give a damn about how their chemicals are poisoning the environment!

Please do everything you can to make them stop using the dispersants now!!!!

I've heard many experts say dispersants of any kind are a bad idea. They don't get rid of the oil, they spread it around a wider area and make it much harder to skim or scoop up!

The pollutants we add to our oceans act in a cumulative manner. No one knows how much is too much to destroy the most important ecosystem on the planet and one that all life depends upon. BP says it will "clean up every drop?" How much more blatant of a lie can they offer? Add the toxic dispersants and it's like a death blow.

I fear humanity treads on the precarious edge of self-annihilation. If we do not stop these profit-driven interests from ruining everything they touch, they will destroy us all. If we don't cease our cavalier poisoning of the planet, and the destruction of entire habitats and species of life, then perhaps we don't deserve to be the dominant species here and all other life on Earth would be much better off without our mindless, disconnected presence.

Does anyone remember this man???

Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.
Albert Schweitzer

This is an unmitigated disaster, obviously. However, is there any reporter out there with a little scientific expertise to write about this? Why the fixation on naphthalene, which is nasty enough, but what about the real nasties like the heavier PAHs - several of which are suspected of being potent carcinogens? No mention of the heavier pyrenes, anthracenes, etc., which adsorb to the surface of sea critters, especially the benthos, and cause ongoing harm. If you are worried about naphthalene, then you should also be worried about phenanthrene, which is also a "light" molecular weight PAH, which is more "soluble" in water. What is with the naphtalene fixation? What about the benthic effects?

Planetresource.net has a Eco friendly solution to clean up the tragedy British Petroleum has created, please watch the video animation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60bdQQQ3iVw and pass this along to as many people as you know.

One person can still make a difference in this world, is that simple interactions have a rippling effect. Each time this gets pass along, the hope in cleaning our planet is passed on.

To take a close behind the veil lets take a close look at the overall picture of this historical crisis which will reveal the true nature of what is presently taking place on a global dimension, even as I write this comment. The bottom line is and there is always a bottom line, that corporatism not communism or any other political title has taken over the sovereign nations of the world. The lethal results of their activities were revealed in India (Monsanto), the effects of the international corporate bankers planned economic collapse of Iceland, Greece, Italy,
Portugal, France, Spain and the United States stock market, housing industry etc.and now the oil disatster in the Gulf of Mexico by BP which is another death blow to our economy with the advent of carbon based taxes.

This oil plague is affecting the value of beach front properties, many businesses on the land, fishing industries, tourism, all allied employment and sadly the wildlife which is now labeled the wilddeath. BP is dictating to the President the degree of his involment in this tragedy and announcing that BP will police itself and make all independent decsions on which chemical methods to use to dissolve the oil along with their sole authority of shutting down the beaches to reporters who are exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

Just wait until the oil spill hits the east coast God only knows what will happen when that takes place. These corporate entities are more powerful then the governments of the world and consider themselves as untouchables as long as they continue to pay their fines making all parties concerned content with their megabuck handouts. Oil and illegals are invading our nation, what can we do short of having a revolution to solve the problem.

There is no easy fix. The people who are making the decisions are having to deal with an unprecedented problem that has never been properly planned for. I suspect that most of them are trying to do the best that they can, just like any of us would.

While people are still paying attention, we need to make them realize there are still tens of thousands of off-shore oil wells. How many of those wells are at risk for similar problems? We need a thorough assessment of the safety of all those wells, ASAP.

If you really want to get a grasp on how sticky this situation is, just look at how the governors of the states most affected are also the ones urging we resume drilling. They are more worried about the economic impact than environmental consequences. It is exactly that attitude that has put us in this situation.

As a country, we need to grow up and start behaving more responsibly. We need to reduce our individual energy use and demand clean safe power sources. Unless we make it clear to our politicians that they will lose their cushy jobs if they don't make real substantive changes, we'll just be biding our time until the next crisis.

This doesn't mean we all have to become paupers. Right now, Oil drains enormous quantities of wealth out of our country. As we move to local renewable energy sources, we'll slow and eventually stop the gusher or cash draining our wallets. We'll produce new jobs and new industries.

In the 70's rivers caught fire. That's what it took for people to realize that we couldn't go on just dumping waste into the rivers we depend on for drinking water and irrigation. The Great Lakes were nearly devoid of life, and Boston Harbor was a toxic waste. Since then, we've restored many of those environments, and it didn't bankrupt the country. It just took some will power. Now we need to bring that same will power and sense of energy to this problem.

I agree with you. Its nice to find some one else that thinks REAL

I know we are all worried about the above ground effects of this massive spill but I am also worried about the underground effects of this. I know that most drilling rigs replace the oil with water to keep the ground from collapsing while extracting oil.. This well is leaking out hundreds and hundreds of gallons of oil with nothing to replace the loss. Leaving tons of water pressing down on the void. What’s going to happen to the ocean floor and the eco system their when this thing turns into a big sink hole not to mention possibly opening up a new opening to release the oil.. This stuff is lighter than water so what effect will this have on our world then.. Yea I know water is flooding in while oil is coming out but I would think the water going in is not as fast as the oil coming out due the density of the oil not allowing water to enter.. The ocean floor is now a big tube of toothpaste being squished with tons of water pushing out oil.

This could have been stopped, probably within a week, by imploding the well head. But having to drill again was too much expense.
Is the loss of human life here any more tragic than mining accidents? There is always someone to take these jobs because they pay better for the danger and we all like to make as much as we can.

I too would have liked an easy fix, but I heard that imploding will not work when the soil around the explosion is too granular as it is around this well. This is a result of greed, BP wanted to control costs and the MMS thought it was in the business of collecting revenue for the US government.

The long term solution is too remove the liability caps from the oil companies and reduce our use of oil. We need to raise taxes on energy consumption and pay the same for gas as they do in Europe. It is only then that we will have a fleet of energy efficient cars in the US.

It is true that we do not know how the expanded use of dispersants will affect the ultimate damage this disaster will cause - we are in unexplored territory and performing a giant experiment on the Gulf. While there is a toxicity associated with dispersants, it is important to note that getting the oil to form very small droplets will significantly increase the surface area available for pelagic bacteria to begin the process of breaking down the oil. Perhaps this accelerated breakdown of oil will generate additional dissolved oxygen-depleted dead zones - the law of unintended consequences. I am not advocating for the use of dispersants or defending Nalco or BP, but if it can possibly shorten the time it takes the ecosystem to recover, should we at least try to see if it is worthwhile mitigation strategy? EPA and the USGS are currently funding and performing research into exactly this topic, and they are intensifying monitoring of the situation to get the data necessary to evaluate this question.

The material safety data sheets (MSDS) for 2 Corexit formulation are available as PDF files on the EPA website about dispersants and this oil spill disaster:

http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/dispersants.html

I encourage all readers to take the time to read and consider these materials. While the expanded chemical component table provides additional information, the MSDSs for these dispersants are public record documents that have never been hidden. The formulation includes 2-Butoxyethanol as the dominant component, and a "proprietary" chemical (not "classified") described as a salt of an organic sulfonic acid, that accounts for 10-30% of product. Notably, the MSDS included acute bioassay toxicity data for the Corexit product itself on several species of fish and algae - much more pertinent to the discussion of potential ecological effects.

Yes, as the EPA site notes, dispersant (surfactant) use represents a trade off in potential toxic and unintended effects vs. speeding up the breakdown of the oil. Those that argue against the use of these chemicals should consider the ultimate costs associated with NOT using dispersants (petroleum contaminants remaining in the GOM for much longer time, allowing longer term bioaccumulation in fish and wildlife.

And ultimately, remember that while BP is "at fault" and probably "criminally liable" for this horrible mess, all of us in this country are "responsible" for this disaster. The blood of those 11 workers killed on the Deepwater Horizon (and all the other oil production deaths), as well as the wildlife killed by the oil are ALL in our cars' gas tanks and in the food we eat.

The US uses 1/4 of all oil produced (around 20 million bbl/day), and we have reached the halfway point of the available world supply of oil. This is called Peak Oil - the point where we have used up all the easy to get and cheap, high quality oil. Because of our oil addiction, great efforts and risks are being taken to mine oil from the deep waters off the continental shelves and the tar sands of Alberta. These sources of oil take more energy and cost to produce, and when there is environmental damage, it is much greater.

So, shame on BP for negligence and cutting corners to make profits, but shame on us for not really thinking about how we use and depend on so much oil. I believe a much more positive outcome from this terrible catastrophe would be if we tone down the finger pointing and blaming anger, and use this as an opportunity to ask how we can stop using so much oil and implement real policies and actions to accomplish this critical goal.

We should realize that there are many oil platforms in the gulf not just this one and,as we can see now, the technology to fix deep under water leaks does not exist. So what will happen if another platform got damaged? And why are they drilling, having no reliable safety measures.

Hello BP Company,
We can send man to the moon but can not stop this madness.
My idea is simple and can be done VERY SIMPLE.
If you really want to stop this have someone IN CHARGE call me.
Ted Huneycutt
803-781-5089

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