This article was originally published at Washington’s Blog.
Editor’s note: We’ve written and published several articles on the BP oil spill and the potential threats to the population, including Oil infused hurricanes, toxic rain and food security issues, real estate and economic damage, and methane and steam driven eruptions resulting in tsunamis. We’ve also written briefly about the toxicity of the cleanup dispersant called Corexit 9500, which is being used in the Gulf. While most are aware that Corexit may cause health problems, the following report from George Washington is an eye opener and will alarm anyone who may be in oil-spill affected areas or in the path of hurricanes.If a hurricane were to hit the Gulf coast region, we can expect storm surges infused not just with oil, but Corexit.
The health impacts to those who are exposed to flooding, toxic fumes and drinking water will likely be very serious. We urge those of our readers near the coast to remain vigilant, and at the very least, begin planning for evacuation in the event that the situation calls for it. In some areas, it may already be time to evacuate.
If you have any doubts as to the severity of the Corexit infused polluted waters, look no further than the article below. The government has found Corexit to be non-lethal in 96-hour tests performed on animals (EPA testing guidelines). Because the animals did not die, it was deemed safe. However, independent research summarized below shows that within two weeks, all of the animals tested were dead. Additionally, it is important to note that Corexit was used for the Exxon Valdez cleanup in 1989. The health affects on cleanup workers are shocking – with the average life span of a cleanup worker being 51 years. Almost all of the cleanup workers from the Valdez spill are now dead. This chemical was banned in the UK, they are now dumping it in our backyard.
Toxicologists: Corexit â€œRuptures Red Blood Cells, Causes Internal Bleedingâ€, “Allows Crude Oil To Penetrate â€œInto The Cellsâ€ and â€œEvery Organ System”
By George Washington
As I have previously noted, Corexit is toxic, is less effective than other dispersants, and is actually worsening the damage caused by the oil spill.
Now, two toxicologists are saying that Corexit is much more harmful to human health and marine life than we’ve been told.
Specifically Gulf toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw – Founder and Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute – dove into the oil spill to examine the chemicals present.
Dr. Shaw told CNN:
If I can tell you what happens â€” because I was in the oil â€” to peopleâ€¦
Shrimpers throwing their nets into waterâ€¦ [then] water from the nets splashed on his skin. â€¦
[He experienced a] headache that lasted 3 weeksâ€¦ heart palpitationsâ€¦ muscle spasmsâ€¦ bleeding from the rectumâ€¦
And thatâ€™s what that Corexit does, it ruptures red blood cells, causes internal bleeding, and liver and kidney damage. â€¦
This stuff is so toxic combinedâ€¦ not the oil or dispersants alone. â€¦
Very, very toxic and goes right through skin.
The reason this is so toxic is because of these solvents [from dispersant] that penetrate the skin of anything thatâ€™s going through the dispersed oil takes the oil into the cells â€” takes the oil into the organsâ€¦ and this stuff is toxic to every organ system in the body. â€¦
Similarly, marine biologist and toxicologist Dr. Chris Pincetich – who has an extensive background in testing the affects of chemicals on fish – says that Corexit disrupts cell membranes.
He also explains that EPA toxicity testing for Corexit is woefully inadequate, since EPA testing for mortality usually only requires a 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.