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Corexit was used during the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska. In 2010, Corexit EC9500A and Corexit EC9527A are being used in unprecedentedly large quantities in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had pre-approved both forms of Corexit for uses in emergencies such as the Gulf oil spill.
On May 19, 2010 the EPA gave BP 24 hours to choose less toxic alternatives to Corexit, selected from the list of EPA-approved dispersants on the National Contingency Plan Product Schedule, and begin applying them within 72 hours of EPA approval of their choices, but BP refused to change from Corexit, citing safety and availability concerns with alternatives. Sea Brat 4, the only effective alternative that is available in quantities large enough for the spill and is less toxic, was rejected by BP because of the risk that components would break down into nonylphenol, which persists in the environment and is toxic to marine life.
BP had used Corexit EC9500A and Corexit EC9527A by late May, applying 800,000 US gallons (3,000,000 l) total, but more accurate estimates run as high as 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800,000 l) underwater. By late April 2010, Nalco, the maker of Corexit, says that it has been deploying only Corexit 9500.
Corexit 9527: The proprietary composition is not public, but the manufacturer's own safety data sheet on Corexit EC9527A says the main components are 2-butoxyethanol and a proprietary organic sulfonate with a small concentration of propylene glycol.
Corexit 9500: In response to public pressure, the EPA and Nalco released the list of the six ingredients in Corexit 9500, revealing constituents including sorbitan, butanedioic acid, and petroleum distillates. Corexit EC9500A is mainly comprised of hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, propylene glycol and a proprietary organic sulfonate. Environmentalists also pressured Nalco to reveal to the public what concentrations of each chemical are in the product; Nalco considers that information to be a trade secret, but has shared it with the EPA. Propylene glycol is a chemical commonly used as a solvent or moisturizer in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and is of relatively low toxicity. An organic sulfonate (or organic sulfonic acid salt) is a synthetic chemical detergent, that acts as a surfactant to emulsify oil and allow its dispersion into water. The identity of the sulfonate used in both forms of Corexit was disclosed to the EPA in June 2010, as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
While Dr. Soto and Wilma Subra of Subra Company are finding shocking levels of poisons in each individual they test, Gregg Hall, who tested with VOC levels "off the chart" and lost feeling in his feet, recovered those feelings only one month after leaving the Gulf Coast. As long as the masses continue to breathe the gulf air, drink the water and eat the food there, their health will continue to deteriorate.
Dr. Soto's and Mr. Jeff Rense's statements made during the Rense Radio Network interview that became the most popular and life-saving radio program about the Gulf operation, were reiterated in an Al Jazeera report on January 5: "It's criminal for the government to tell people to eat the contaminated seafood, and that it's alright for people go to our toxic beaches and swim in the contaminated water.