Sanjay Gupta & EPA – dispersants and lack of testing

Send your message: BAN COREXIT. Stop multiplying the damage

Watching CNN yesterday, I caught something disturbing from the EPA – it’s at the very bottom in large print.  The video was not available, so here’s the transcript:

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN HOST: … Everyone’s talking about it, the B.P. oil disaster. What impact is it having on the health of people who are trying to clean up that mess? I sat down and spoke to Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA, about what this means for all of us.
Let me paint this picture for you. At West Jefferson Medical Center in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, workers who have been cleaning up the spill have taken there by ambulance and medivaced to the hospital. These are the same folks who are spending their time 50 miles out in the Gulf trying to clean up this big mess. These people are now complaining of nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains, believing it to be due to exposure of chemicals.

Some of the same concerns incidentally were raised after the Valdez disaster. And it got me thinking, is there a connection between these types of exposures and human health?

It’s one of the first things I asked when I sat down with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson.

LISA JACKSON, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Looking at oil, which on its own is a toxic substance and one that can affect life in the food chain. And where I’m standing here in Venice, you know that the food chain begins right here, especially for a culture built around seafood and its love to sustain the economy, as well as whole families who live off of it.

But EPA’s been active since day one, trying to answer other questions as well. We’ve been doing air sampling. You probably heard about people worried about what maybe in the air. We haven’t found anything. We continue to sample.

We’re doing near-shore water sampling. We’ve just added additional sampling to make sure we’re looking at the dispersants in air and water because that’s becoming an issue, given how much of that chemical’s been used out here.

GUPTA: So — I mean, some of the knowledge exists, right, Administrator Jackson? I mean, for example, with regard to the dispersants you just mentioned. There have been studies that have come out of Europe, specifically, Britain, saying these dispersants can potentially be harmful. That data exists.

Why do we still use it then? I mean, why don’t we err on the side of caution if something can potentially be harmful?

JACKSON: I’m very hesitant to recommend to taking it out of the toolkit altogether because dependent on weather and other conditions, there will be days when that’s about the only thing we have to attack the oil. So, I think it needs to be used sparingly.

And I think people need to understand what’s going on. And I’m very committed to long-term environmental monitoring to answer questions and if we need to, stop.

GUPTA: The — you know, I think the point that they were making in the study was maybe there’s other dispersants that may be less potentially harmful and as effective. But where do you — you’ve been there all day. You said it was a heartbreaking day.

What do you think happens next and how long does this go on?

A soaked oil boom and oil are seen in marshes impacted by the BP oil spill in Pass a Loutre, La., on Monday. Gerald Herbert/AP

JACKSON: Dispersants, one of the reasons I’m committed to using them in a smart way is that we don’t want to see this oil enter the marsh and what was so heartbreaking was seeing the reeds in the marsh almost like sentinels with oil marks on them like you would see if it was flooding in a house. In this area, just the analogy to see, you know, these dead reeds, start to see a marsh that so many people have fought to try to bring back …

JACKSON: … start to die and know that we may not be able to win that war. We have to do what we can, including using less toxic dispersants if we can find them. And EPA is going to do some testing of its own down in our labs in Florida because

“I’m not satisfied that we’ve done everything we can to get the best science on the job.” – EPA

We don’t need more toxicity. BP is simply trying to hide the amount of oil in the Gulf with dispersants because they are fined based on the number of barrels of oil they have injected into our Gulf. See: Gulf Oil Spill: BP Trying To Hide Millions of Gallons of Toxic Oil?

Dead Dolphin covered in oil - Louisiana

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One thought on “Sanjay Gupta & EPA – dispersants and lack of testing

  1. This isn’t an isolated incident. If you watch the interviews of BP execs, USCG, EPA, or most of the “authorities” on this, and you pay attention, you’ll notice most questions truly go unanswered. Words come out every time, but rarely in the form of answers to the questions posed. I don’t understand why the interviewers don’t press on this until they get answers.


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