British Petroleum released, quietly…oh so quietly, new information today about their results from chemical testing. What? You mean the PR department didn’t try to splash that one all over Google, Facebook, MySpace, Sarah Palin’s forehead and Texas Congressman Joe Barton’s ass?
Turns out that 20% of the Gulf Coast cleanup crews have been sickened by a chemical that sickened cleanup workers involved in Exxon’s Valdez mess. The villain is a chemical called 2-butoxyenthanol a chemical released when BP initially used the dispersant, Corexit 9527. Apparently, Tony Hayward was wrong when he initially suggested sick workers probably just had food poisoning.
“Moderate respiratory exposure to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, dermal or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema and coma…U.S. Employers are required to inform employees when they are working with this substance...”
That this chemical is still showing up in air quality testing is called “worrisome,” “troubling,” and according to Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Scientist Gina Solomon, “the air quality if anything, seems to be deteriorating.” Considering that 2-butoxyethanol is supposed to biodegrade in a few days and British Petroleum claims they stopped using Corexit 9527 in favor of Corexit 9500 a month ago, it is curious this chemical keeps showing up. Perhaps BP is just covering up the labels on the canisters, slapping 9500 on 9527s like they cover up oily beaches with more sand. This company continues to release selective results from their air quality testing with no penalty and it’s getting old, really freaking old, but who is there to keep them in check? Who can we rely on, who will give us the facts in this, our time of need?
Oh good, it’s the EPA.
Turns out somebody in the EPA went rogue, releasing a report stating the air, especially around Venice and Grand Isle, Louisiana is now a “moderate health risk.” Moderate, right. In case you’d like a reminder of another time the EPA monitored a Catastraphuk of a disaster site and said things were safe, consider this gem:
“Our tests show that it is safe for New Yorkers to go back to work in the financial district”
Also interesting is that though California lists 2-butoxyethanol as a hazardous substance, back in ’94, the EPA removed it from their list of hazardous air pollutants. So what is it, dangerous or not? EPA? BP? Obama? Somebody please give us a straight message so we don’t have to resort to independent scientists. Talk about troublesome, these guys, the ones without a financial stake in this mess, they call this stuff a cancer causing carcinogen that can be absorbed through the skin. That don’t sound too good at all, but nothing really does when so many messages are mixed.
So, for those of you haven’t been following the news of recent: BP comes to the Gulf of Mexico to get a bit of oil, totally fucks up the water, and not to be content with this they fuck up the air while they’re not cleaning up the water. BP is not really cleaning up anything but the savings accounts of everyone in the Gulf Coast States who relied on the Gulf for their source of income…and life. Meanwhile the government says they are in charge but accede to every BP demand. Obama makes a lot of promises, provides great reassurance to the American people and then disappears.
Oh…he sent his wife to visit.
How about another quote from round the time of 9-11, this one from Charles Schumer D(ick)-NY, “If the public loses faith that things are safe when the government says so, we’ll have more damage than a pointed statement the week after 9-11 would have.”
Hey Obama, I think he might have been talking about you!
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Have a nice day.