Written by Michael Kulla
In 2011 BP finally caped its Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. This was America's worst environmental disaster. National media moves on, but the disaster continues.
Michael Robichaux, Louisiana phyician, reports treating patients for clusters of symptoms unlike anything seen before. The dispersant, Corexit, hailed by BP and the EPA, but banned in the UK, is applied to the leaking wellhead and sprayed across thousands of square miles of Gulf waters. The effect: oil sinking to the seafloor while the dispersant spreads its toxicity, many times greater than the oil itself (Government Accountability Project, Georgia Technical Institute, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, etc.).
The federally required Material Data Sheets created by Coexit's manufacturer describes the potential hazards as "High", causing "injury to red blood cells, the kidney or liver." Corexit was linked to severe health problems for exposed workers during the Exxon Valdez cleanup.
BP, state and federal agencies failed to provide workers with warnings as required by federal law.
BP contends (5/2013) that it's "not aware of any data showing...exposure to dispersants...that would pose a health or safety concern." (!)
Area fishermen estimate 60 to 70% loss in quantity of seafood harvested. Over 70% of the nation's shrimp and 60% of its oysters come from the Gulf.
BP launched an unrestrained and immodest ad campaign to restore public confidence.
This plays out like a broken record, leaving the ecosystem and its wildlife the grim reapers.
- Corexit: Deadly Dispersant in Oil Spill Cleanup (Whistleblower News, Government Accountability Project, 19 April 2013)
- Dispersants (Center for Biological Diversity, undated material)
- “Covering Up The [Gulf] Oil Spill With Corexit Was a Deadly Action … What Happened In the Gulf Was a Political Act, an Act of Cowardice and Greed” (Washington's Blog, 24 September 2014)