From Mother Jones:
Sadly, things aren’t getting cleaner faster, according to their results. The Corexit that BP used to “disperse” the oil now appears to be making it tougher for microbes to digest the oil. I wrote about this problem in depth in The BP Cover-Up.
The persistence of Corexit-mixed-with-crude-oil has now weathered to tar, yet is traceable to BP’s Deepwater Horizon brew through its chemical fingerprint. The mix creates a fluorescent signature visible under UV light. From the report:
The program uses newly developed UV light equipment to detect tar product and reveal where it is buried in many beach areas and also where it still remains on the surface in the shoreline plunge step area. The tar product samples are then analyzed… to determine which toxins may be present and at what concentrations. By returning to locations several times over the past year and analyzing samples, we’ve been able to determine that PAH concentrations in most locations are not degrading as hoped for and expected.
Worse, the toxins in this unholy mix of Corexit and crude actually penetrate wet skin faster than dry skin (photos above)—the author describes it as the equivalent of a built in accelerant—though you’d never know it unless you happened to look under flourescent light in the 370nm spectrum. The stuff can’t be wiped off. It’s absorbed into the skin.
And it isn’t going away. Other findings from monitoring sites between Waveland, MS, and Cape San Blas, FL over the past two years:
- The use of Corexit is inhibiting the microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in the crude oil and has enabled concentrations of the organic pollutants known as PAH to stay above levels considered carcinogenic by the NIH and OSHA.
- 26 of 32 sampling sites in Florida and Alabama had PAH concentrations exceeding safe limits.
- Only 3 locations were found free of PAH contamination.
- Carcinogenic PAH compounds from the toxic tar are concentrating in surface layers of the beach and from there leaching into lower layers of beach sediment. This could potentially lead to contamination of groundwater sources.
The full Surfrider Foundation report by James H. “Rip” Kirby, III, of the University of South Florida is open-access online here.
From a review of the BP oil spill documentary, “The Big Fix”
The oil spill was even more avoidable than you thought. BP cut costs and corners wherever they could get away with it in the cleanup, and they got away with it a lot. In many places they would simply cover the oily beaches with more sand and pretend they were clean. They used a chemical called Corexit, which is toxic, as a dispersant on the oil. This made everything worse, not only causing massive quantities of oil to sink into the ocean to cause problems later, but also poisoning thousands of people along the Gulf Coast. They have lied about what they are doing every step of the way.
Why does BP get away with this? Because Louisiana is less a state than it is an oil colony, with a demonstrable history of corruption, big oil’s hands always firmly planted in elected officials’ pockets. And because the US government as a whole is deeply in bed with BP, who are the Navy’s biggest supplier of fuel. You probably haven’t heard any of this, because the so-called liberal mainstream media is eager to put a tidy bow on every ugly story that comes along. The networks all went in lockstep with BP and the government in declaring the crisis over as soon as the well was supposedly sealed. Except the crisis is still ongoing, with people still suffering from Corexit poisoning, oil still killing sea life, and, oh yeah, oil still leaking out of the well. [Editor’s note: maybe not so much out of the well, but the seafloor surrounding it. See here also.]
- Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor Unstable, Fractured, Spilling Hydrocarbons (phoenixrisingfromthegulf.wordpress.com)
- BP Oil May Be Showing Up on Beachgoers’ Skin (bpoil.wordpress.com)
- BP’s Corexit-Oil Tar Sponged Up By Human Skin (motherjones.com)
- Doc of the Day: The Big Fix (daysofdocs.com)