Whistleblowers say BP covered up size of oil gusher, health risks of Corexit

On the third anniversary of the BP oil spill, the truth about the company, and the event that killed the Gulf of Mexico, is beginning to spill out.

From Al Jazeera 4-20-13:
Just off the coast of the US state of Texas, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform blew up exactly three years ago.

Vast amounts of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, causing one of the biggest-ever environmental catastrophes.

Video has now emerged that energy giant BP never wanted shown, and there have been accusations of a cover-up.

From Activist Post

A former boat captain, Malcolm Coco, has come forward to reveal his role in setting fires in the Gulf following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He details how local shrimp boats were hired to corral the oil, after which “homemade bombs” would ignite the oil creating fires the size of city blocks.

He was given no special physical protection during the hazardous operation, “The only equipment we were given was a fire jumpsuit … not much protection from anything.” He is suing BP for the personal health problems he has sustained since.

Malcolm also reveals apparent collusion between the Coast Guard and BP to keep those like himself who were involved in the cover-up from taking photos or video. He states that after he asked too many questions, he was sent home.

But it wasn’t only those directly involved that have been put at risk. As he recalls, the Coast Guard and BP specifically told him: “Don’t let anybody know what’s going on out there.” As a result, Coco asserts that the public has been thoroughly deceived about the full scale of the environmental disaster that took place 3 years ago, even as we know that it continues to ravage the food chain. John Terret reports for Aljazeera:

This is Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 3-05-13 “Corexit & Oil on beach”

Today, 4-20-13, Florida became the fourth Gulf state to sue BP

From Stuart Smith 4-20-13
3-year-anniversary bombshell: Whistleblower says BP covered up health risks of Corexit
Today is the three-year-anniversary of the event that changed life for so many of us here on the Gulf of Mexico: The explosion at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig off Louisiana, which killed 11 people and triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history. I was in a private plane flying over the Gulf just hours after the blast and saw the thick plume of black smoke, and I still remember the shock of knowing right away that something terrible had happened. By day’s end, I was aware that the ensuing oil leak was much, much worse than BP was telling the public. The first lie of so many.

Now, 36 months later, we deal with the aftershocks every day. You can go out and see some of wonderful Gulf swamps — so critical in protecting the mainland from devastating storms — and BP’s oil is still there, strangling the tall reeds. Talk to a shrimp boat captain, a Gulf fisherman, or a charter boat operator, and ask whether things on the Gulf are really better than ever — despite what those incessant TV ads say. But one of the biggest ongoing worries in the region is the health of the hearty souls who answered the call to clean up the Gulf in the spring of 2010. For months, I’ve been reporting on links between the toxic dispersant Corexit — which was sprayed in massive quantities in a misguided attempt to break up the oil — and serious illnesses, from headaches to stomach problems to persistent coughs.

Now a major new investigation by Newsweek — aided by a courageous whistleblower — has blown the lid off what should be a major national scandal. BP knew the risks of spraying Corexit — and instead of informing the cleanup workers, it covered things up:

BP applied two types of Corexit in the gulf. The first, Corexit 9527, was considerably more toxic. According to the NALCO manual, Corexit 9527 is an “eye and skin irritant. Repeated or excessive exposure … may cause injury to red blood cells (hemolysis), kidney or the liver.” The manual adds: “Excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects.” It advises, “Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing,” and “Wear suitable protective clothing.”

When available supplies of Corexit 9527 were exhausted early in the cleanup, BP switched to the second type of dispersant, Corexit 9500. In its recommendations for dealing with Corexit 9500, the NALCO manual advised, “Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing,” “Avoid breathing vapor,” and “Wear suitable protective clothing.”

It’s standard procedure—and required by U.S. law—for companies to distribute this kind of information to any work site where hazardous materials are present so workers can know about the dangers they face and how to protect themselves. But interviews with numerous cleanup workers suggest that this legally required precaution was rarely if ever followed during the BP cleanup. Instead, it appears that BP told NALCO to stop including the manuals with the Corexit that NALCO was delivering to cleanup work sites.

“It’s my understanding that some manuals were sent out with the shipments of Corexit in the beginning [of the cleanup],” the anonymous source tells me. “Then, BP told NALCO to stop sending them. So NALCO was left with a roomful of unused binders.”

Read Newsweek: What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill

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Interviews with Stuart Smith, Dahr Jamail, locals: Al Jazeera – A Slap on the wrist for BP?


More:

Video and comment from John Turley (4-18-13): Please sign the petition, found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ban-toxic-dispersants/, calling for an end to the use of toxic chemical dispersants, a part of the National Contingency Plan regarding oil spills in the United States.
Bio for John Turley is here

Dead dolphins and shrimp with no eyes found after BP clean-up Chemicals used to disperse Gulf of Mexico spill blamed for marine deaths and human illness – The Independent

3 Years After Deepwater Horizon, Report Shows Devastating Impact of Dispersant Used in “Cleanup” – Government Accountability Project

‘People’s History’ of Gulf Oil Disaster Reveals Deadly Truth Behind Dispersant Corexit Report released on eve of Deepwater Horizon anniversary tells of BP lies and government collusion in oil ‘clean-up’

EPA Accused Of Blocking Scientific Advancement of Corexit In BP Cleanup

Why Is the Toxic Dispersant Used After BP’s Gulf Disaster Still the Cleanup Agent of Choice in the US? – Mother Jones

Three years after BP oil spill, USF research finds massive die-off – Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times

Three Years After the BP Spill, Tar Balls and Oil Sheen Blight Gulf Coast – The Atlantic

Greg Palast: BP Coverup (worse than you think)

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3 thoughts on “Whistleblowers say BP covered up size of oil gusher, health risks of Corexit

  1. Pingback: BP Oil Spill – 3 years later | Gulf Leak Watch

  2. Pingback: BP knowingly poisoned the Gulf and its People. The Obama Admin helped cover it up. | occupy blogosphere

  3. Pingback: Al Jazeera: The ‘mess’ that oil made | Gulf Leak Watch

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