Disasters & Extreme Weather

Published on June 23rd, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

Toxic Rain & Biggest Environmental Disaster in Human History from BP Oil Spill & Toxic Oil Dispersants?

bp oil spill

Toxic oil dispersants may result in “total destruction” of the Eastern United States and the biggest environmental disaster in human history, Russian report says.

I’ve seen this mentioned a few places now, including by Important Media’s founder & publisher David Anderson, but it is something I couldn’t pass up writing about a little bit myself.

A report prepared for Russian President Medvedev by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources has warned that the BP oil spill in the Gulf may soon be the biggest environmental disaster in human history, threatening the whole Eastern U.S. with “total destruction”.

Personally, I think that sounds a little extreme, but I am not a person qualified to create or thoroughly critique such a report.

David Jones of The Canadian writes:

Russian scientists are basing their apocalyptic destruction assessment due to BP’s use of millions of gallons of the chemical dispersal agent known as Corexit 9500 which is being pumped directly into the leak of this wellhead over a mile under the Gulf of Mexico waters and designed, this report says, to keep hidden from the American public the full, and tragic, extent of this leak that is now estimated to be over 2.9 million gallons a day.

The dispersal agent Corexit 9500 is a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by the Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, Illinois that is four times more toxic than oil (oil is toxic at 11 ppm (parts per million), Corexit 9500 at only 2.61ppm). In a report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. titled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview” Corexit 9500 was found to be one of the most toxic dispersal agents ever developed. Even worse, according to this report, with higher water temperatures, like those now occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, its toxicity grows.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in discovering BP’s use of this dangerous dispersal agent ordered BP to stop using it, but BP refused stating that their only alternative to Corexit 9500 was an even more dangerous dispersal agent known as Sea Brat 4.

One of the major problems expected to result from this toxic dispersant is “toxic rain”. Additionally, if hurricane season comes in with a bang, “the resulting ‘toxic rain’ falling upon the North American continent could ‘theoretically’ destroy all microbial life to any depth it reaches resulting in an ‘unimaginable environmental catastrophe’ destroying all life forms from the ‘bottom of the evolutionary chart to the top’.”

For more on the report, watch the YouTube video below.

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Image Credit: boycott-bp-2011 via flickr/CC license



About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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