BP Used Banned Dispersants
BP used unsafe dispersants in the Gulf disaster though they had been banned in its home nation, the United Kingdom, for more than a decade. "BP is using two products from a line of dispersants called Corexit, which EPA data appear to show is more toxic and less effective on South Louisiana crude than other available dispersants," according to a May 18, 2010 article in ProPublica.
Serious Risks of ExposureCorexit contains 2-butyoxyethanol, petroleum distillates and sulfonic acids. Since Corexit's use in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, exposure to these compounds has been linked to:
- Respiratory Issues
- Nervous System Problems
- Liver Disorders
- Kidney Disorders
- Blood Disorders
BP Lied to DiversDespite clear evidence of harm caused by the substances, commercial diver David Hogan of Texas was assured by BP officials that working in the contaminated waters of the Gulf was perfectly safe. He and his co-workers were further told they needed no special equipment, even after they noted unusual changes in their wetsuits after dives.
As reported in Facing South, the divers relied on these assurances and "worked as many as 20 hours per day for the next couple of weeks in heavily contaminated water. One diver began experiencing health problems while the work was still underway, and eventually the entire dive team developed health problems."Mr. Hogan began suffering rapid weight loss after the dives, dropping 60 pounds. He can no longer walk, has frequent seizures and is going blind. A lawsuit filed in the spring of 2012 by Mr. Hogan and his wife in Harris County Court alleges these symptoms are directly related to his exposure to known hazardous chemicals during his dives into the Gulf after the BP disaster. Two of the other divers working for the same company have committed suicide since their exposure to the dangerous waters, according to the lawsuit.