Yesterday, Care2′s Erin Polgreen posted a useful article about the true nature of chemical dispersants being used in the Gulf “clean-up” efforts, and how they could affect the environment for years to come.
From the article: According to Popular Science, “Dispersants have never been applied on this scale, leaving environmental scientists guessing about the consequences. Corexit may have caused seven cleanup workers to be admitted to the hospital with shortness of breath and nausea.”
Of course there are also concerns regarding the impact of dispersants on wildlife and undersea plants. According to this study, when applied in small amounts to Mallard eggs, Corexit is as fatal as raw crude oil.
Many have focused their concerns about Corexit (the dispersant BP continues to use despite an EPA order to stop) on what it’s doing under the water. But as we know, the oceans are part of a larger precipitation cycle, and scientists are worried that soon the consequences of using dispersants could be falling from the sky.
A report prepared for prepared for President Medvedev by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources warns that “a greater danger involving Corexit 9500…is that with its 2.61ppm toxicity level, and when combined with the heating Gulf of Mexico waters, its molecules will be able to “phase transition” from their present liquid to a gaseous state allowing them to be absorbed into clouds and allowing their release as “toxic rain” upon all of Eastern North America (European Union Times).
Note: It has since been alleged that the European Union Times is a less than credible news source. To support the concepts suggested by the EUT, here is a quote from Dr. Remata Reddy, who studies and teaches tropical meteorology at Jackson State University:
Tropical storms usually form in the far eastern Atlantic early in the season. But as the Gulf heats and the oil continues to spill into the open waters, that concern and storm potential will grow together, Reddy said.As oil evaporates and comes into contact with a tropical storm, the chances of acid rain falling within the storm are possible, Reddy said.
This toxic rain could be fatal for all species- from the microbial level up- no matter where it falls, essentially collapsing the environment from the bottom up. The devastation of a hurricane with these chemicals dispersed in it would multiply the effects and hazards.
SIGN THE PETITIONS!
- Prevent Another Oil Spill: Rethink Offshore Drilling
- Tell President Obama to Stop Offshore Drilling!
Find full Care2 Coverage of the Spill here.
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - burningimage