Corexit makes oil 52 times more toxic | The Jackal

4 Dec 2012

Corexit makes oil 52 times more toxic

Yesterday, Global Research reported:

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico published an article in the journal Environmental Pollution finding that dumping the dispersant Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico increased the toxicity of the mixture up to 52-fold over the oil alone.

It just so happens that the dispersant used in the Gulf of Mexico was Corexit 9500A, the same dispersant used by Maritime New Zealand in the Rena disaster on the East Coast of New Zealand. At the time, the now disgraced Minister of the Environment, Nicolas Rex "Nick" Smith said:

Corexit is no more toxic than dishwashing liquid.

Corexit 9500 is a most dangerous substance, and is hazardous for human health at levels of only 2.61 parts per million (ppm). Oil is toxic at 11 ppm. In combination these substances would be one of the most toxic known to mankind at 0.2 ppm.

Of course authorities at the time of arial spraying failed to warn the public to keep away from areas where they could be exposed to the highly toxic substance, and with further scientific studies showing that Corexit increases oil atomization and therefore makes it more likely to become airborne, this was a major failing by New Zealands authorities.

Meanwhile other studies have shown that the use of Corexit actually prolongs oil spills by inhibiting the growth of oil eating microbes and also increases its uptake by living organisms.

So why was Corexit 9500A used at all you might wonder? Basically because it makes the oil sink to the ocean floor where it's hard to assess the exact amount that has been leaked. This means any potential fines will be less, and as we all know money is the only thing many of these companies care about.

Greece-based owner of the Rena cargo ship, Daina Shipping Company, was fined $300,000 in October this year.