The Daily Downpour at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific today!

By: Shaun Tanner , 5:51 PM GMT on May 11, 2010

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How are Shaun and Tim doing on their No New Plastic Month journey? Tune into The Daily Downpour today at 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT to find out! Also we will discuss the flooding in Tennessee and the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Listen for the most updated information. Listen here!

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3. Patrap
9:03 PM GMT on May 11, 2010

BP station Finder.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134667
2. Patrap
7:11 PM GMT on May 11, 2010

Find more videos like this on Drilling Ahead
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134667
1. Patrap
5:55 PM GMT on May 11, 2010

Is the cure worse than the disease?

As the wait for a major oil landfall continues, there are new concerns over the still growing mess in the Gulf. Experts are now concerned that one of the so-called 'solutions' to fight the oil could be spreading another toxic mess.

The dispersal chemical used is Banned in Europe..

Type: Dispersant (Corexit 9500/9527)
Primary Use: Nearshore/Offshore

Corexit 9500-Dispersal Agent BP is using in the Gulf

Corexit 9500-Dispersal Agent BP is using in the Gulf

Gulf Oil Spill: BP Trying To Hide Millions of Gallons of Toxic Oil?
BP Embraces Exxons Toxic Dispersant, Ignores Safer Alternative
It has been confirmed that the dispersal agent being used by BP and the government is Corexit 9500, a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, IL. Their stock took a sharp jump, up more than 18% at its highest point of the day today, after it was announced that their product is the one being used in the Gulf. Nalcos CEO, Erik Frywald, expressed their commitment to helping the people and environment of the Gulf Coast recover as rapidly as possible.

It may be that the best way to help would be to remove their product from the fray. Take a look at some of the facts about Corexit 9500:

A report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. entitled Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview states that Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527, and Corexit 9580 have moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans and mollusks (LC50 or EC50 1.6 to 100 ppm*). It goes on to say that decreasing water temperatures in lab tests showed decreased toxicity, a lowered uptake of the dispersant. Unfortunately, were going to be seeing an increase in temperatures, not a decrease. Amongst the other caveats is that the study is species-specific, that other animals may be more severely affected, silver-sided fish amongst them.

Oil is toxic at 11 ppm while Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 ppm; Corexit 9500 is four times as toxic as the oil itself. Sure, a lot less of it is being introduced, but thats still a flawed logical perspective, because its not a lesser of two evils scenario. BOTH are going into the ocean water.

The lesser of two evils seems to be a product called Dispersit, manufactured by Polychem, a division of U.S. Polychemical Corporation. In comparison, water-based Dispersit is toxic at 7.9-8.2 ppm; Dispersit holds about one third of the toxicity that Corexit 9500 presents. Dispersit is a much less harmful water-based product which is both EPA approved and the U.S. Coast Guards NCP list.

So why isnt it being used?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134667

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Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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