BP Dispersant Getting Independent Lab Test

BP Dispersant Getting Independent Lab Test

By Bill Riales

On Thursday News 5 brought you the findings of an environmental engineer who says the use of the dispersant by BP on the bulk of the oil needs to stop now. Joe Taylor says Corexit causes the oil to sink, depleting oxygen in the water and will ultimately kill the Gulf. (See link below) Joe Taylor said BP is using the dispersant in the wrong manner--and they know it.

Now an independent lab will test Corexit against stem cells from a sperm whale, and perhaps other marine life, according the Mobile Baykeeper's Casi Calloway. Calloway says Mobile Baykeeper has had to go outside of BP's Unified Command structure and state and federal agencies to get this type of testing done. The tests will try to determine the levels that affect DNA which would be a sign of heavy toxicity, says Calloway.

Another thing that will be tested is the bio-accumulation of the dispersant in sealife. Corexit's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) explicitly states that the dispersant bio-accumulates, that is builds up in the bodies of marine animals, plants and remains in silt.

"So it's something that's not going to go away," says Calloway.

BP has used hundreds of thousands of gallons of the dispersant on the bulk of the oil spill. Corexits MSDS says there is an expectation that 50-70% of oil would sink. Joe Taylor says BP should stop using it and allow the oil to reach the surface for two reasons. One, so that it could be skimmed and cleaned up. If the oil is below the surface, it cannot be recovered. Two, so that the combination of toxic oil and dispersant do not further harm the gulf.

Calloway says she does not know how long the lab tests will take. She hopes to be able to forward other samples of different marine species to the lab to determine the effects of the dispersant on them.

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