Dispersants & Dispersed Oil

BP’s preferred dispersants, thus far, have been Corexit 9500 and 9527, which are manufactured by Nalco, Inc. BP executives and board members have direct financial ties to Nalco, so that the m0re Corexit they use in their “clean-up” efforts the more they stand to profit from the disaster on the back-end.

This explains why the EPA’s May 20th order for BP to stop using Corexit dispersants within 24 hours, due to their high toxicity and relative ineffectiveness versus other products on the market, was entirely disregarded by the company.  Sadly, this event revealed just how toothless our government’s regulatory agencies are vis-a-vis powerful multinational corporations, and how critical it is that we not rely on our representatives to hold BP accountable. We need a grassroots movement and must demand the end of further dispersant use in the Gulf.

Let’s take a closer look at Corexit. According to the EPA’s dispersant comparison chart Corexit 9500, for instance, has the highest toxicity to Menindia fish of all 18 dispersants tested.  Only 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is required to kill 50% of fish exposed to the chemical within 96 hours.  In other words, 1 gallon of the Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water toxic to point of being lethal to 50% of Menindia fish within 96 hours of exposure.

When compared to another EPA approved dispersant, Nokomis 3-F4, Corexit 9500 is 38 times more toxic to Menindia fish and 17 times  more toxic to Mysdopsis “fairy” shrimp.

Corexit 9500 and 9527 were also determined to be the least effective dispersants of all 18 tested, further confirming that BP’s decision to use these products is based on an attempt to profit handsomely from their use, and not their expressed goal of “cleaning up the mess.”

Ultimately the conflict between the EPA and BP being waged right now on using “more effective” and “less toxic” dispersants, skirts the real issues. Although using “less toxic” dispersants is a good idea, the more “effective” they are, the more harm they do to the life in the Gulf.  The focus should not be only on the inherently toxic nature of all dispersants, but on the inherently toxic consequences of dispersing the oil through any means.

Dispersing the oil into the water column accelerates the poisoning of all marine life, deep throughout the water column and seabed. Ultimately it results in “covering-up” the extent of the disaster on the surface, while amplifying the damage within our oceans.  Also, when the dispersants admix with the crude oil, a third far more toxic product is produced called “dispersed oil.”  Dispersed oil has been shown to be more toxic than the sum of its parts.

In the EPA fact sheet on Corexit 9500 the dispersant has a toxicity Menidia beryllina fish of 25.20 parts per million, resulting in the death of 50% of the specimen within 96 hours. The test oil (Fuel Oil #23) exhibited the same toxicity at a lower 10.72 parts per million.  When the Corexit and oil were mixed, however, the EPA tests revealed an exponential increase in the toxicity of the dispersed oil mixture reaching 2.61 parts per million for a lethal dose of 50% of the the fish.

We must see beyond the superficial debate over using “less toxic dispersants” and acknowledge that the dispersion techniques – by their very principle – make the problem far worse.

Please sign our petition, contact your state representatives and promote this issue further by recirculating our press release.

View the first-hand research on the toxicity and ineffective nature of dispersants here.


1)  Gulf Oil Spill: Dispersants Have Potential to Cause More Harm Than Good

2) Out of Sign: BP’s dispersants are toxic – but not as toxic as dispersed oil

3) Dispersant ‘may make Deepwater Horizon oil spill more toxic’

4) Chemical dispersants being used in Gulf clean-up are potentially toxic

5) Adding Toxicity to the Gulf: The Exxon-Developed Chemical Being Against the Oil Spill

6) Out of Sight: Dispersed Oil’s High Price

7) Sierra Club: Dispersants Worse than Oil

8)  BP chose more toxic, less effective oil dispersant manufactured by company with ‘close ties’ to oil giant.

9) Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup

10) In Gulf Spill, BP Using Dispersants Banned in U.K.


“Not only is it [Corexit 9500] less effective than another type of dispersant listed by the EPA [Dispersant SPC 1000], it is also around three times as toxic” Source: Food and Water Watch

“Of 18 dispersants whose use EPA has approved, 12 were found to be more effective on southern Louisiana crude than Corexit, EPA data show. Two of the 12 were found to be 100 percent effective on Gulf of Mexico crude, while the two Corexit products rated 56 percent and 63 percent effective, respectively. The toxicity of the 12 was shown to be either comparable to the Corexit line or, in some cases, 10 or 20 times less, according to EPA.” Source: New York Times, May 13th 2010

TAKE ACTION – Sign the petition to STOP the use of Dispersants in the Gulf

BP’s primary dispersant is known as COREXIT EC9500. The following lists technical and toxicological data about it.

1) EPA



42 Responses to Dispersants & Dispersed Oil

  1. There is a simple and safe technology available that can be used to capture the oil. This technology are polymers, which have been designed to soak up oil and change the oil into rubber. If booms filled with these polymers were placed around and within the oil slick, the oil would be absorbed by the booms and could be recovered. Thus cleaning up the sea without using toxic chemicals.

  2. dr. p goodman says:

    you are destroying our planet for financial interest! don’t any of you bureaucrats realize that the best stuff of life is not stuff. you all make me sick. now that you are polluting our origins from the seas you are also making us dead.

  3. Kathleen McClaine says:

    Glad to see that someone has the guts to do something about this atrocity that is happening in the Gulf.

  4. Joseph R. Roper says:

    There is adequate evidence of wrong doing and poor judgement on BPs part, to demand they stop dumping dispersents into the ocean and work at stopping and cleaning up the spilled oil. Their activities and actions are enough to potentially destroy us all for life as we know it. Enough is enough.

  5. Pingback: The BP Oil Spill May Be Bad, But This Cover Up is Far More D | World Politics

  6. Brendan MacIsaac says:

    Jail all of BP’s Executives that are responsible directly and indirectly.

  7. Mohammed Afzal Masoodi says:

    For your only financial ego you are dis-trying all biological creature including human! what you will do with the financial you will have when you do not have any one to use them for your services and needs you require. Only few individual in the wast universal is the aim? that is Ok for you but how long will you be living end of your goal is death like you kill all the living in sea and land.

  8. Pingback: The Cover Up that is Far More Deadly than the BP Oil Spill : LuminEarth

  9. Pingback: Harvey Tobkes » Blog Archive » OIL SPILL – THE REST OF THE STORY

  10. Raymundo says:

    Capitalism and the human stupid idea to create money is the most terrible disease that GAIA has endured trough its history, is very poor the legacy that this generation is going to leave for the future ones.
    What man must understand is that the human beings are a part of the living ecosystem and must live in harmony with it, sadly we are the worst living threat on the earth capable of destroying our own home.

  11. Gentlemen:

    We are, at Spa Group, committed to a philosophy – called Greentrot, viz. as follows:
    Greentrot is a philosophy, a crusade and a way of life. The journey has just begun. We need your support to create a healthier world to live in and to leave this planet, we have inherited, a better place for the future generations.

    We are apalled by this indiscriminate use of toxic dispersants, supplied by powerful companies, to tackle already a paiful and disastrous accident of BP Gulf oil spill, which has already inflicted great wounds on our environment and ecology of the area. By indiscriminate and unmindful use of toxic chemicals to deal with this gigantic oil spill is like adding insult to the injury.

    We are developing safe and nature-based ingredients formulated oil spill dispersant and other cleaning chemicals at our ISO 9001:2008 certified R&D laboratory and are at loss as to “WHO WILL NOTICE US AND LISTEN TO US?” in the theatre already playing ear-tearing music(?) of the industry biggies! Alas! Save our mother Earth!

    Surendra Mohnot

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    BP should be prohibited from participation in the clean up. Our impotent and ineffective president should be handing the job over to environmental Non-Governmental Agencies to do the job correctly, with sensitivity for the long-term effects. Then BP should be sent the bill, and if necessary, their assets sold to make the payments. BP has a deplorable record of criminal safety offenses, including 4 felonies. Why would we trust them with a job of this magnitude and severity?? This is stupid upon stupid! What is our president doing about this? NOT ENOUGH!!

  13. thisisIT says:

    I applaud you starting the petition, but I think the only way to stop the use of the Corexit “corrects it” is to get on the Florida Governor and Legislature by getting people in Florida involved. They are cleaning up the keys themselves. Unfortunately, Florida is the real money state so they have the best chance. Put a huge Paypal donation button on your page to compensate you for your time and/or to hire a lobbyist(probably a long shot, because 6 billion people just don’t seem to care enough) or donate the money to another organization who is trying to stop the dispersant. Put a note under the paypal button indicating its intention. I’ll spread your site around. You are a true agent of good.

    • You are absolutely correct! I’ve been looking for another organization that is mobilizing to take the fight to the streets. Many are too focused on ending offshore drilling when this nightmare has only just begun. We need immediate action. Thanks for your support and constructive feedback. Let me know if you find any group out there that’s doing the work.

      • Jason says:

        What can I do to help? Anything else I can do? I’ve contacted my Representative and Senators and they all sent back pre-written replies about stopping drilling and nothing about stopping the use of dispersants. I even wrote to Greenpeace and The Sierra Club and no response.. no one gets it.

  14. Pingback: EPA data show dispersants plus oil are more toxic than either alone | USAHM News | The Media Hitman Has Arrived. Classified Information, and a Conspiracy?

  15. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To « WeCogitate.net

  16. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To |

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  18. Pingback: MERCOLA: The BP Oil Spill May Be Bad, But This Cover Up is Far More Deadly « LISTEN TO THE RED SHAMAN 2012

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  22. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Oil Spill That We Deserve To Have Answered

  23. Pingback: BartBlog - The Blog of BartCop.com » More questions about the Gulf oil disaster

  24. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To | Improving the quality, changes that matter

  25. Jason says:

    Found this new article/video about dispersants:
    BP Must Stop Using Toxic Dispersant Now, Says Environmental Engineer (VIDEO)

  26. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To | The Total Collapse

  27. Pingback: Oil Dispersants - Page 2 - SoWal Beaches Forum

  28. Pingback: 16 Burning Questions About The Oil Spill That We Deserve To Have Answered | Wall St. Cheat Sheet

  29. Pingback: Just a Few Things BP Does NOT Want You to Know | we must know

  30. Greg Molenaar says:

    News Item: Benzene in Gulf air is now 3000 ppb
    ~ 0-4 ppb is EPA “Safe”.

    BP’s Top-Kill

    Who knew when BP said, “Top Kill” ~
    alleged to plug the errant well,
    that we humans were their target too…
    a billion gallons in the brew.

    Who knew within the oil sludge,
    Was a President who would not budge…
    who would not lead his people free
    from breathing all this chemistry.

    It’s More than oil for our cars,
    More than coast line that was ours
    More than birds’ feet stuck in tars,
    It’s Korporate Kollusion.

    It’s Benzene in the air we breathe
    A President we can’t believe,
    A company bent to deceive,
    a thousand parts per illusion.

    Who’s Corporate Karma is so feeble,
    Who Carries “Top Kill” to the people?
    BP, like India’s Union Carbide
    ‘To the valley of death 10,000 ride.

    Oil disbursed or humans scattered,
    To BP all that really mattered
    Is to disburse the claims
    of all you “little people.”

    So Hayward gets a golden ‘chute
    and runs away with all his loot.

    Our president should get the boot
    from all us little people.

    — Greg Molenaar — June 2010
    New London, MN

  31. Rob Phillips says:

    Have you seen Nalco’s own video on Corexit? They’ve got themselves convinced it’s the greatest invention ever:


  32. Robert Coss says:

    Excellent source of information. Thank you for putting up the site and informing us about this.

    Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

    A person summed up this pathetic situation pretty well when he said,

    Geezee, [we are being] deleted by dead life forms from 230 million yr’s ago. Nature took this carbon out of circulation and locked it up until we went and found it and it may do us in.

    Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America | EUTimes.net

  33. asdf says:

    BP is a joke. However, shame on our government for not TAKING OVER the cleanup once BP proved inept and incapable. Seriously, we need an “A-team” that we can call on no matter the disaster and let them opearate, problem solve, and get things done. Think “the wolf” from Pulp fiction…

    I voted for Obama, but he ain’t gonna survive this one…too many leadership questions….

    Bush failed us (diverting us to iraq, wars with no exit strategies), and now Obama has, too . Our society really has to do a total 360 and get out of the two party trap. wow, it is 2010 and we still fall for the same old cons…


    The current BP containment cap has failed. Oil will continue gushing until August or beyond until the Relief Wells are drilled.

    Trust me as an expert in the oil wells field, the following simple novel technique can instantly plug the well and make unnecessary the drilling of the Relief wells:

    Plugging BP Well by a Long String of Cement-Filled Casing Pipes

    BP has to lower into the wellbore through the Riser Pipe stub and the Blowout Preventer a string of 18″ Casing Pipes: a dozen pipes connected together, 500 ft long, after being filled with cement.

  35. Pingback: BP Oil Disaster Updates from June 27th – July 11th « Medi8ing Trends on the Playing Field

  36. David Dubya says:

    I am pretty amazed at this article and the amount of misinformation which it is spreading. Stuff like this should be held libel for damages to the reputations of the companies -here are some links to the reports from the Manufacturer, EPA, & Tulane University.




    Here is a really good one from Tulane University –

    • Are you serious? Your referencing the manufacturer’s own “news” report on the success of the chemical. What misinformation are your referring to? Have you not looked at the Medline referenced toxicology? Who are you to make comments like this to a concerned citizen who is actually doing something to counterbalance the outright lies you are swallowing without doing any critical research of your own?

  37. As I am writing, engineers are busy testing the new sealing cap on BP’s gushing wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico. We hope that it is successful! The relief well is also well on way and is supposed to stop the leak by Mid-August. God speed!

    What happens to the oil slicks that have marred the beaches/coastlines, the shores which have oil and are dotted with tar balls or the sea creatures/birds which have got drenched in dangerous black liquid?

    Something needs to be done and fast. The methodologies to be adopted must be practicable, safe and non-toxic. Let’s see ….

    Surendra Mohnot

  38. Pingback: Stay out of the Water! If you can’t see it then IT IS poisoning you. | Gulf Oil Spill Truth

  39. Bob Morris says:

    We had our quarterly oil spill planning meeting this thursday 3/24/2011, for the southeastern New England area.
    At prior meeting held on 12/1/2010 Mr. Steve Lehmann from NOAA (fisheries) formed a workgroup to use disperants as a top priority in removing oil from the surface and remediate the spill.
    At meeting held on 3/24/2011 the deepwater horizon’s ISPR was shown to the audience, this is a USCG/NOAA report, which stated low toxicity was found in the use of disperants. Mr Steve Lehmann from NOAA discussed the importance of immediately finding oil spillage and bombing it with disperants as the flaw in the deep horizons cleanup.
    Also this document stated that the containment methods used were found to be adequate.

    First: They used the the worst and slowest of containment methods, booms skimmers ect. There is profoundly better booms and skimmers, that were never used.

    Second: By using these draconian methods, the oil spill planning committees will endorse and finance disperants, which is NOAA and the oil industries agenda.

    The fish can’t talk! And similar to radiation, the OUT of sight, OUT of mind technology of disperants hides the facts and fear.

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