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The Secret Ingredients in Corexit

The Secret Ingredients in Corexit

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Published by Maureen Dauphinee

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Maureen Dauphinee on Apr 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Secret Ingredients in Corexit, and the EPA
A New York Times
article dated June 9, 2010 titled
“Ingredients of ControversialDispersants Used on Gulf Spill Are Secrets No More”
exposes the “quiet” posting onit’s website of the controversial “secret ingredients” in Nalco’s Corexit product line.“U.S. EPA has quietly released a full list of ingredients in the twocontroversial dispersants BP PLC is using to combat the Gulf of Mexicooil spill, following weeks of complaints from members of Congress andpublic health advocates that the dispersant manufacturer had kept itscomplete formula a secret from the public.”Apparently, the EPA didn’t even inform Nalco that it was going to post them up,prompting many to believe it was done in response to public outcry on the volume andmethod of application of this controversial oil dispersant product line (Corexit9500/9527A).
The NY Times
reports:“The mysterious appearance on EPA's website of the specific chemicalcomponents in Corexit 9500 and 9527 -- more than 1.1 million gallons of which have been sprayed in Gulf since the disaster began -- came as asurprise to environmental groups as well as to Nalco Holding Co., theproducer of the dispersants. Nalco spokesman Charlie Pajor said thecompany was first informed about the full release of Corexit ingredientsby
, not EPA.”“Nalco's reaction to the lack of notification from the agency is "beside thepoint," Pajor added. "We did share the complete information with EPAand relevant government agencies. Clearly we didn't want to share thisinformation with our competitors, but we certainly understand the need for information sharing." 
In response, scientists and researchers were quick to comment:"Some information as to how it got [on EPA's website] would beinteresting," he added in an interview.”Even more interesting was the EPA’s silence in response to media requests for further information regarding their posting:“EPA did not return several requests for comment on its decision torelease the Corexit ingredients.”The Toxic Substances Control Act governs many of the ingredients in dispersants, but itreally doesn't "govern" much at all: According to the coalition, the act grandfathered in62,000 chemicals without any safety tests. Since then, only a few hundred have beenscrutinized, and only five have been restricted.So the bottom line is, that *if* indeed Nalco did release the chemical listing, and *if*indeed the formula has been analyzed to confirm the ingredients are those in actuality,what proof do we have that the components are not one of the 62,000 chemicalsgrandfathered into the Toxic Substances Control Act?And if not, how will any level of testing ever been considered legitimate, when theycannot assure anyone that they know what they are actually looking for?All the testing in the world will not give the assurance needed by consumers to trust thatthe product is safe for consumption. Combined with the increasing death toll of mammals and sea life along the Gulf state shorelines, one does not have to have the nameof Lisa Jackson to realize that something is very wrong.That gut reaction you have when you think about the potential for harm is, in alllikelihood, one you should follow.http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/06/09/09greenwire-ingredients-of-controversial-dispersants-used-42891.htmlMore on Nalco's ties to BP: 

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