BP has been spraying Corexit at the bottom of the ocean floor since the collapse of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform which resulted in a break of the riser pipe. While Corexit is sprayed over the oil spill and would normally adhere to the oil molecules, the Corexit transforms into a gaseous state due to the water temperatures and easily forms a new chemical compound.
This is easy to explain from a pure chemical perspective taking into consideration the chemical structure of both products.
Corexit is known in chemical labs as C6H14O2, while methane gas is known as CH4. Combining both in an oil environment results in a new compound C8H18O2 commonly referred to as 2-ethylhexane-1,3-diol.
The new gaseous chemical compound will rise to the surface of the Gulf and find its way to the Coastal beaches where it will bubble in the surf line and get airborne. The gas in itself is not dangerous in water but once inhaled poses a threat to human beings.
Once inhaled, the gas will store itself in the pulmonary alveoli where it will find its way into the bloodstream through natural osmosis. The Corexit, or its main component 2-butoxyethanol, will adhere to the red blood cells causing hemolysis and damaging liver and kidneys permanently.
The first signs of inhalation and extended exposure are sore throats, respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness, headaches and disorientation. This is not surprising because the chemical is also a small component in chloroform, although in very small particles that are not harmful.
Nalco Holding Company, the manufacturer of Corexit9500 and Corexit9527, denies that their product is toxic and helps to encapsulate the oil molecules so they can sink to the bottom of the ocean for natural degrading by bacteria. This is a fair and accurate statement but that is not the chemical reaction that occurs at the bottom of the ocean.
The company also states that the Corexit formula is a trade secret and has never been published, however the EPA lists the exact ingredients of Corexit as a matter of public information.
Swimming in the waters off Pensacola Beach is not recommended, but breathing the air is what may cause permanent damage.
Written by Nick Doms © 2010, all rights reserved