Week Adjourned: 6.18.10

Top Class Actions

Corexit Surely Didn’t Correct It. Up until yesterday, I was thinking that at some point in the distant future the BP oil spill may begin a positive chapter, the toxic gusher will finally be capped and the clean-up will begin to make a meaningful impact—we may even be fortunate enough to see the return of some species that are currently threatened with extinction—including the fishermen. 

Then, I saw this: a class action lawsuit filed yesterday, alleging that BP and Nalco Holding Company intentionally sprayed “Corexit 9500” dispersant into the Gulf of Mexico with full knowledge of its dangerous toxicity. The suit alleges that the dispersant was sprayed entirely to lessen BP’s financial exposure and cleanup efforts relating to the oil spill. 

Then I thought to myself ‘Wasn’t BP was on the verge of collecting an award for its environmental achievement just days before this disaster occurred? How could any ethically responsible corporate citizen engage in this activity with any kind of knowledge of the dangers?’ Of course the key point here is ethics…or the complete lack of them. 

According to a press release about the suit, “When administered the dispersant, Corexit 9500, attaches to the oil causing both the oil and the chemical to sink below the surface of the water eventually settling to the sea floor. Studies have demonstrated this process will permanently alter the biosystem and food chain in the Gulf.”  (See the above vid from msnbc where Dr. Seth Forman talks about the potential impact on Corexit on the rest of us.)

But it gets worse, if that’s even possible. “This chemical has been banned in the UK for over a decade,” the press release states. “Corexit is four times as toxic as the oil itself. Oil is toxic at 11 ppm, but Corexit is toxic at only 2.61 ppm. Corexit was banned from use in the United Kingdom because it did not pass the ‘Rocky Shore Test’ which Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 6.18.10”