Scant Evidence That Dispersants Help in Oil Spill Cleanup

by , 06/17/10
filed under: Environment, Water Issues

bp, british petroleum, deepwater horizon, gulf of mexico, oil spill, dispersants, corexit, sc-1000, wetlands, cleanup, gulf oil spill

Not only has BP “spilled” an estimated 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — the company has also pumped in more than a million gallons of the dispersant Corexit. However a new report in Chemical & Engineering News claims that the evidence supporting BP’s all-in gamble on Corexit is thinner than an oil slick.

bp, british petroleum, deepwater horizon, gulf of mexico, oil spill, dispersants, corexit, sc-1000, wetlands, cleanup, gulf oil spill

In 2005, the National Research Council looked at three decades of research into dispersants’ effectiveness and found that they sometimes helped, sometimes made things worse, and occasionally they had no effect. BP’s choice to use the Nalco dispersant exclusively also appears unfounded. The EPA has approved the use of 81 dispersants and has asked BP to use less Corexit.

To take but one example, Gentek makes a biodegradable dispersant, SC-1000, that’s designed to herd oil away from shorelines and toward absorbent booms. Use of Corexit, meanwhile, is expressly forbidden within three full miles of the shore. Couldn’t SC-1000 be used in addition to Corexit? Gentek president Kim Kristoff has made more than 100 calls trying to interest BP in his product. The oil “will eventually come to shore,” he told C&EN. “What is their plan to get rid of it?”

That’s shaping up to be the question of the year.

+ Gentek

+ Nalco

+ Inhabitat coverage of the Gulf Coast oil spill

Via Science Daily and Chemical & Engineering News

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  1. christopher Bisphpham com October 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I agree that chemicals are not the answer to oilspills.That is why I set out many years ago to developing an Oilspill recovery system, that was inexpensive to manufacture, crew and maintain, I developed the SEASKIP this patented innovation recovers Oilspill & marine -debris rapidly and simultaneously, even in very choppy seas.controllable powererd flexible oil / debris guide booms, are an integral part of SEASKIP.The SEASKIP is new technology.
    Very early testing of this patented technology, see (oilspill recovery europe ltd) on YouTube
    I need environmentally concerned people, or companies to help make it available worldwide

  2. msavage June 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Bottom Line BP supply respirators for workers!! Please learn from my experience and do not end this spill cleanup with workers as BP’s Collateral Damaged.

    My letter to Gulf residents.

    The crude oil is toxic, and anyone who cleans the oily Gulf beaches needs to know the danger.

    My name is Merle Savage, a female general foreman during the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) beach cleanup in 1989. I am one of the 11,000+ cleanup workers, who is suffering from health issues from that toxic cleanup, without compensation from Exxon.

    Dr. Riki Ott visited me in 2007 to explain about the toxic spraying on the beaches, and informed me that Exxon’s medical records that surfaced in litigation by sick workers in 1994, had been sealed from the public, making it impossible to hold Exxon responsible for their actions.

    Beach crews breathed in crude oil that splashed off the rocks and into the air — the toxic exposure turned into chronic breathing conditions, central nervous system problems, neurological impairment, chronic respiratory disease, leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, liver damage, and blood disease.

    My web site is devoted to searching for EVOS cleanup workers who were exposed to the toxic spraying, and are suffering from the same illnesses that I have. Our summer employment turned into a death sentence for many — and a life of unending medical conditions for the rest of Exxon’s Collateral Damaged.

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