The ingredients and formulas for various dispersants on the market typically are not available, and it is not fully known which chemical ingredients among the 57 are found in which dispersant.
However, the research shows that some of the ingredients in oil dispersants are hazardous to our health and the health of the organisms living in the Gulf of Mexico.
Of the 57 chemicals researched:
- 5 chemicals are associated with cancer
- 33 chemicals are associated with skin irritation, from rashes to burns
- 33 chemicals are linked to eye irritation
- 11 chemicals are suspected or potential respiratory toxins or irritants
- 10 chemicals are suspected kidney toxins
- 8 chemicals are suspected or known to be toxic to aquatic organisms
- 5 chemicals are suspected to have a moderate acute toxicity to fish
While revealing some of the potential hazards of dispersants, the extent of our current lack of knowledge about dispersants and their impacts is made evident.
From the executive summary:
These findings call for more research, greater disclosure of the information that is known, comprehensive toxicity testing, the establishment of safety criteria for dispersants, and careful selection of the least toxic dispersants for application in oil spill response.
Download Complete Report: The Chaos Of Clean-Up (PDF)
I shared the information below in the post, Oil Companies are Ruinging Our Environment (9/2/11), but I think it is worth repeating:
According to Dr. Michael Robichaux, a physician in Raceland, Louisiana, Gulf residents continue to suffer health effects related to the disaster clean-up:
. . . the main problems at this time are a loss of memory, seizure type problems, severe abdominal pain, fatigue, irritability and other neurological and endocrine manifestations (AlterNet, 8/29/2011).
I would feel negligent if I did not warn you to stay off the beaches and out of the water in the Gulf. People have been reporting rashes and other symptoms that may be caused by the oil, gases or dispersants unleashed in the Gulf in 2010.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . don't.