Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill And The Corexit Oil Dispersant Health Problems Confirmed

Back on April 20, 2010, a major environmental catastrophe occurred in the Gulf of Mexico when the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded and 4.9 million barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf waters creating a problem that was not ‘fixed’ until July 10, 2010 when the rig finally was able to be capped.

One of the approved emergency methods to control the oil spill was the use of Corexit™,  a chemical dispersant sprayed from aircraft.  According to a report about the health issues related to that chemical “Respiratory, Dermal, and Eye Irritation Symptoms Associated with Corexit™ EC9527A/EC9500A following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Findings from the GuLF STUDY,” we learn in the Introduction,
As part of the oil spill response and cleanup (OSRC), approximately 1.8 million gallons (6.8 million liters) of oil dispersant was applied both to the sea surface [1.07 million gallons (4.05 million liters)] and directly into the stream of oil leaving the wellhead 5,000 feet (1.5 km) underwater [0.77 million gallons (2.9 million liters)] (United States Coast Guard 2011).
 Furthermore, in the Conclusion of that report, association is made that health issues apparently were caused by the dispersant chemical.
Potential exposure to Corexit™ EC9527A or EC9500A was associated with a range of health symptoms at the time of the OSRC, as well as at the time of study enrollment, 1–3 y after the spill. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1677
Table 2 of the report cites the following health issues:
Cough; Wheeze; Tightness in chest; Shortness of breath; Burning in nose, throat, lungs; Burning eyes; Itching eyes; Skin Irritation.
 The above report confirms what clean-up crew members were reporting at the time of the incident and thereafter.  However, what long-range health problems do they face?  Man-made toxic chemicals are known to cause irreparable DNA breaks, which lead to cancers.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 26th, 2017.]

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