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?