It’s basically a giant Experiment: Corexit 9500, Oil, just Add Water Column

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cool, being a life-long Science fan, I have always liked Experiments …

But I generally prefer those of the ‘Controlled Experiment’ variety.  Those fly-by-night Variety, like combining a jet of Hair Spray with a tiny Lighter flame, always left me a little frightened.

Funny, I’m starting to feel that way again …

As the oil gushes from the broken well head at the sea floor, Rader says it has the potential to contaminate each layer of the water column that, “directly exposes those animals to toxicity, at the surface including the very sensitive surface zones where not only sea turtles and marine mammals and sea birds can be oiled, but also where the highways for fish larvae exist. And then as it rains back into the abyss over a much wider area carrying toxicants back into the deep sea where ancient corals and other sensitive ecosystems exist.”

One response strategy has been to use dispersants or anti-freeze-like chemicals to break the oil up into smaller globules.

[…]

It is a choice, he says, between two bad options. While the chemicals may protect birds and other wildlife by dissipating the slick before it reaches shore, their toxicity in the Gulf could harm fish and other marine life.

[Intro Source: ]

Gushing Oil Threatens Wildlife, Gulf Ecosystem

Aquatic life, birds vulnerable to toxic effects of oil

Rosanne Skirble, Washington, DC — 13 May 2010

—————–

What could be worse than Toxic Oil, thoroughly mixing into “every layer of the water column” poisoning most species that manages to eek out a living, in each underwater ecosystem?  How about adding a half-million gallons of special ‘anti-freeze’, to help that ‘glass of inky water’ — to instantly turn a murky white?  Abra-ca-dabra!

It’s Almost Magic — Where did all that Ink go!

Criticism of Secret Oil Dispersant in Gulf Grows Louder in U.S.

Concern that contaminants will be insidious and persistent in ecosystems

by Stacy Feldman, Stacy Feldman’s blog – May 13th, 2010

“Unfortunate recent events in the Gulf Coast have once again brought to the forefront issues pertaining to the impacts of dispersants and dispersed oil,” Carys Mitchelmore, a researcher at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, told the Senate Subcommittees on Oversight and Water and Wildlife.

There’s a potential for a toxic soup of unknown effects, which cannot be predicted even if the individual constituents are known.”

Response teams have dumped about 436,000 gallons of a chemical dispersant, called Corexit, into the Gulf to battle the leak from BP’s sunken Deepwater Horizon ruptured rig — more than has ever been used in the United States.

Some of that is being pumped 5,000 feet underwater at the site of the spill, a deepsea technique that has never been tried. The exact ingredients of chemical dispersants are protected as trade secrets and are unknown.

“Putting this right on the seabed, it’s unknown what the consequences will be,” said Mitchelmore.

The dispersant, a detergent-like brew of solvents, surfactants and other compounds, breaks down oil into tiny particles that scatter into the sea to prevent crude from washing ashore and wiping out wildlife.

Some analysts describe the chemical stew as a a slow and silent killer, however, quietly altering the balance of food webs, contaminating species and damaging the overall health of the oceans.

John Everett, president of Ocean Associates Inc., a Virginia-based oceans and fisheries consulting firm, said […]

The oil damage will eventually heal. Better procedures will be employed and this oil will be recycled and assimilated,” Everett told Congress.

The flow of chemical materials into our waters is another matter. There are too many insidious contaminants entering our estuaries, causing genetic harm and poisoning our Earth, turtles and seafood.”

 

The harmful chemicals, he said, creep into the food supply and “directly impact us as well.”

But, but, what about, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” — If we can’t see all that Oil, it doesn’t really exist, right?  When it gets broken up in to tiny droplets, they just fall, harmlessly, to … wherever …

Long as the Beaches stay sugary white — and our tanks, stay affordably Topped off — all is right with the World!

Besides those guys in the White Lab Coats, say Corexit 9500, is not that bad, if used in moderation … afterall consuming too much of anything, is not a smart idea — whether it’s anti-freeze, or just Tequila shooters!

Aquatic toxicity of two Corexit® dispersants

A. George-Ares and J. R. Clark

Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc., 1545 Route 22 East, Annandale, NJ 08801-0971, USA

Received 13 October 1998;  accepted 26 August 1999. ; Available online 2 February 2000.

The oil spill dispersants, Corexit® 9500 and Corexit® 9527 have low to moderate toxicity to most aquatic species in laboratory tests.

Toxicity estimates are significantly affected by test variables such as species, lifestage, exposure duration, and temperature.

Aquatic toxicity data generated from spiked, declining exposures (107 min half-life) are more reflective of actual dispersant use conditions.

Decisions to use oil spill response chemicals should not be based solely on aquatic toxicity. Factors to consider include product effectiveness, toxicity of dispersed oil, species/habitats requiring priority protection, and recovery potential of sensitive habitats and populations.

An environmental risk assessment approach is recommended where dispersant toxicity data generated under environmentally relevant exposures are compared to estimated environmental concentrations of dispersants.

OK then, in limited controlled use, with the right “environmental risk assessment” this top-secret dispersant, might not totally disseminate a productive and robust ecosystem.  Whew!

BP got one of those environmental assessments study things, Right? — Back when they assured the regulators, that their deep drilling operation would not damage the Environment, Right?

Think again.   (Remember … this was NOT one of them “Controlled Experiements”, that real scientists like to run.  It was more like one you’d see at a “1999” Frat Party.)

Chemicals used to fight oil a trade-off

By Jason Dearen and Ray Henry, msnbc.msn.com — May 5, 2010

[…] the effect of this largely untested treatment is still being studied by numerous federal agencies, and needs approval from a number of them before it can be rolled out in a larger way.

“Those analyses are going on, but right now there’s no consensus,” said Charlie Henry, the scientific support coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “And we’re just really getting started. You can imagine it’s something we’ve never thought about.”

[…]

Corexit 9500 used

One of the chief agents being used, called Corexit 9500, is identified as a “moderate” human health hazard that can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation with prolonged exposure, according to safety data documents.

According to the company, Corexit contains no known carcinogens or substances on the federal government’s list of toxic chemicals.

Even some of the most ardent environmentalists, while concerned about the potential effects, aren’t suggesting that the chemical concoction shouldn’t be used in this case.

It’s basically a giant experiment,” said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser with Defenders of Wildlife. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it;  we have no good options.”

Nice.  “It’s basically a giant experiment.”

I wonder if BP, and their Federal Regulators, asked the Gulf Coast residents, how they felt about, being unwitting ‘guinea pigs’ — in this grand exercise in Extreme Resource Extraction?

Well, if it’s all in the Name of Progress, why should anyone care?

Afterall, it’s only Progress & Technology that can take a half-million gallons of Corexit 9500, add it to that extra large ‘glass of inky water’ — and Abra-ca-dabra!

It ALL turns a murky white, instantly!

problems solved, now you see it — now you don’t!

No worries … We got this!  

(just don’t peer too deep, under the surface … cuz it just might turn your stomach.)

11 comments

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    • jamess on May 14, 2010 at 1:33 am
      Author

    I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show today on NPR

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/

    some Oil Rig Engineer — called in, extremely upset,

    about the BP foot-dragging.

    He said the problem could be solved,

    with known, proven technology — in a matter of a few days —

    if all they wanted to do was CAP the Well Head.

    Something about:

    Using a “casement cutter” to cut off the fallen riser, just above the well head

    That immediately turns 3 leaks into one.

    Then put some sort of “draping device” over that cut,

    which allows you to then seal the “clean cut”

    with either another BOP, or a shut-off valve, to cap it.

    The Engineer was besides himself with Frustration,

    as to WHY BP was not doing this?

    Diane asked the guy to stay on the line,

    to try to get him in touch with the “right people”

    here’s the program audio:

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/au

    FWIW

    The engineer was about 10 minutes in, I think

    • Edger on May 14, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I think they dream of somehow being able to capture and refine it for sale, and they don’t care how much they poison the gulf (and a good part of the earth) in the process.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bo

    by popping out the proteins that regulate chemical traffic across the membrane.

    See?  the free-market can de-regulate anything!  Life itself.

  2. Little Boy and Fat Boy seemed to do the trick, didn’t they?

    But, but radiation sickness followed by gruesome deformation and death? Nah, just a little bit more testing and we’ll have it licked. And we’ll keep that little old formula to ourselves. We’re not toxic people, we love life.

    We’ll show you by conducting harmless tests in the beautiful South Pacific.

    The world has gone directly to hell in the last 65 years with Agent Orange leading the way, followed by pesticides, cleaning agents and a whole slew of synthetic toxins whether in containers, carpets or building materials. Hell, what’s a little leak in the lithosphere? It’s just a harmless alliteration, that’s all.

  3. Actually, Joy soap is a dispersant. If you put some oil in the sink, or better yet drop it off your Bayliner, and drop some Joy in-the sheen is gone. Problem solved? Nope. You just can’t see it now–and neither can the Coast Guard.

    Of course, but only if your oil spill is big enough, instead of fining you the Coast Guard will hire a public relation firm–to make it look far better than it is anyway.

  4. Team Obama has been caught in a cover-up. They delayed the release of  streaming video of the oil gusher for weeks.

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com

    • jamess on May 15, 2010 at 4:47 am
      Author

    in the original diary.

    the site was acting up, when I posted this.

    should be fixed now.

  5. … gets into the water.  It’s like spraying highly refined gasoline, glycol (alcohol) and sulfer compounds into the water.

    I disagree with the “low toxicity” as it is toxic in small parts per million to the tiniest living things things in the gulf’s waters food chains, and the effect is cumulative as it sinks into the bottom sediments.  If the other fish, birds, and mammals have nothing to eat…..  

    If it’s surface sprayed, it decomposes and some parts of it would evaporate, as does some of the oil itself.

    If it’s in the water column, they don’t know.   But they (govt in a news conference today)  are claiming that it’s not in the water column.  W_T_F ?    Is the ocean tooth fairy making it all dissipate ?

    Is it rising or sinking, or floating along under the surface, as they think a huge mass of the spilt oil is doing now ?

    They don’t know.  They admitted as much today, in a press conference. They’re looking at the data.   It’s an experiment.  

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