“Inside Story” on BP’s use of Corexit to “clean up” Gulf oil blowout disaster


Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story Americas aired a very good discussion of the findings and implications of the Government Accountability Project’s report on the devastating effects of BP’s use of Corexit to “clean up” its oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Guests included Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, which worked closely with GAP on their report; Daniel Becnel, an attorney representing plaintiffs against the manufacturer of Corexit; Mark Hertsgaard, an independent journalist who wrote the first in-depth piece on GAP’s findings; and Malcom Coco, a former cleanup worker who is taking part in a lawsuit against BP.

See our April 19 post Corexit: Deadly Dispersant in Oil Spill Cleanup.

From the AJE Inside Story America’s page on “The Mess that Oil Made“–

Time and again, those working to clean up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill were assured that Corexit, the chemical they were using to disperse the oil, was as safe as “dishwasher soap”.

In a statement issued by BP, the oil company said: “Use of dispersants during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was co-ordinated with and approved by federal agencies including the US Coast Guard and EPA.

“Based on extensive monitoring conducted by BP and the federal agencies, BP is not aware of any data showing worker or public exposures to dispersants that would pose a health or safety concern.”

According to a new report released by the Government Accountability Project, nearly half of workers reported that their employers told them Corexit did not pose a health risk.

And nearly all those interviewed, reported receiving minimal or no protective equipment despite warnings clearly spelled out in the manual provided by Corexit’s manufacturer.

Now three years on, many cleanup workers are reporting serious health problems including seizures, temporary paralysis and memory loss.

So, was the chemical used to disperse the oil more destructive than the oil itself?

This entry was posted in Energy, Obama Administration, Science-Policy Interaction, Whistleblowers. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Inside Story” on BP’s use of Corexit to “clean up” Gulf oil blowout disaster

  1. lre says:

    Hey CNN, FOX & all the other american media … great reporting. I swear if you haven’t been following this bp spill case / story you would have forgotten it even happened, it’s like the American media went into a total news blackout, it’s pathetic.

    Keep up the good work all.

  2. D. R. Tucker says:

    Mark Hertsgaard also appeared on the
    4/26/13 edition of the Rachel Maddow
    show on MSNBC:


  3. Evelyn Welk says:

    The media coverage of oil spills and any other industrial disaster is curtailed by the businesses that own them and the transnational corporations they are involved with. The externalities of industrialization must be hidden so that we are unaware that the price is paid by the consumer rather than the manufacturer. The media is owned and operated by the conservatives and if we believe otherwise we are fools.

  4. David Hill says:

    I worked onboard the M/V Miss Meagan [180 ft OSV] as lead Captain the summer of 2010. I was assigned to “The Western Strike Force” stationed out of The Port of Fourchon in Louisiana. My duties included skimming and extracting spilled crude oil from the surface of The Gulf of Mexico. The “Strike Force”; on average consisted of a dozen or so like vessels. We were guided into area’s; per USCG instruction’s, of 3 to 5 thousand ft of water North and East of the actuall spill site. Spotter planes would locate large drifts of spilled crude and direct the fleet into position to skim, extract and clean up as much of the spill as we could once operations began. On 2 seperate days I witnessed The Plane spraying with dispersant the same drift of spilled crude The Western Strike Force was working. I was never advised of the spraying operation in my area and ask to evacuate for safety reasons. Now-Since working te spill I have been hospitilized 8 times. I have had 5 surgeries to remove infections from my body. I have had neumonia 3 times. I have been hospitalized 4 times in a behavorial health unit for mental health problems. My whith blood cell count has dropped twice to dangeriously low levels. I have had to retire from working. I stay sick on a daily basis as a direct result of working The BP Oil Spill. I ; after over 2 years of enduring one illness after another have yet to find ; or offered any medical assistance resulting from said oil spill. What gives? I guess im just suppossed to just suffer until the day I finally die and it all washes under the table. It’s a shame no one will step up to help the workers that tried so hard to clean up The Gulf. I took great pride in being a part of the clean-up effort. I have made my living from The Gulf of Mexico and I guess it’s finally gonna kill me. Okay- I get it. Nobody Cares about me or others like me!!!!!

    • M. Collins says:

      Dave, I read your story and just wanted you to know I care. I am very sorry to hear of all the terrible health issues due to Corexit. You must be very angry, I would be pretty upset. It’s called corporate greed. If you can, chin up, be strong and fight- fight-fight. My prayers are with you. There are people who do care.

    • Cathy says:

      I am very sorry to hear what happened to you David. I would like to know more from your view, if that is ok.

Comments are closed.