Friday, June 25, 2010

In the Air, Everywhere

Corexit Rain May Be Responsible for Crop Death in Mississippi

♫ The Corexit, my friends, is blowin' in the wind, the Corexit is blowin' in the wind... ♫

As I wrote weeks ago, BP's poison dispersant has begun to come back down to Earth after being picked up by weather systems. The first, unlucky victims are farmers in Mississippi. It will spread as more and more Corexit from BP is sucked up into the clouds, along with the benzene, hydrogen sulfide and methylene chloride it precipitates out of the oil slurry, as well as the natural methane from the giant natural gas deposit that is said to be lying on top of the oil stratum into which BP drilled. Levels of the first three of those toxins are already thousands of times higher than maximum safe, according to the EPA itself. And methane is one million times higher than normal levels, again, according to the government, not conspiracy theorists.

People like to laugh and joke about methane, because even schoolchildren know that that is the flammable component in animal flatulence. They think that methane is what imparts the foul odor. It is not. It is mainly hydrogen sulfide that causes the smell, along with other volatile organic compounds. So you can laugh, but consider that methane is the main component in natural gas, which many homes use to heat water and cook food. What happens when you leave the gas valve open on the stove but the flame blows out? The potential for explosion. Natural gas, methane, is so dangerous that the government requires that very same, toxic chemical, hydrogen sulfide, to be added to municipal gas supplies so that people can be warned of a leak or an open valve by the odor.

Of course the level of H2S in your natural gas line is not high enough to cause harm, and most people that do has gas lines in their homes will never experience a leak, so it is of no consequence that H2S is present. But the people in the Gulf are breathing thousands of times the safe level of that toxin continuously, day after day. And more and more methane is getting into the region every day, as are all the other poisons spewing from the wellhead and being dumped into the water by BP.

And you might believe that you are far enough away from the nearest beach that you don't have to worry about this anyway. FEMA has prepared plans for each state to evacuate everyone within the areas 200 miles inland from the coast. And this is the official beginning of hurricane season. The general flow of the oil and the chemicals, due to ocean currents and prevailing winds, is from west to east. A hurricane coming into the Gulf, following a track like those of Katrina and Rita could sweep those toxins in the air back west, into Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, anywhere a hurricane can and has gone before it runs out of power. We've seen hurricanes lose power and end up as tropical depressions but still track as far north as New York. Essentially the entire United States is at risk, except for the Left Coast and probably states like Idaho and Montana.

And something else that I hadn't thought about since I'm not a chemist, but heard today from Hawk's radio show -- these compounds are all heavier than air, except for methane. The chemicals that cause cancers, attack the nervous system, cause birth defects, and will straight-up kill you in sufficient concentrations do not rise up into the air. They hug the ground. They do not disperse as quickly as other gases can. Think of ground fog on a night right for its formation. It stays within feet of the surface level. So yes, the methane rises and distributes evenly, but the most dangerous poisons along with BP's Corexit 9500 stay right where they will do the most damage.

These plants in Mississippi are the canary in your coal mine. Soon you will see reports of dead animals or reports of large areas from where the animals have fled. Then maybe you'll see birth defects and a higher rate of miscarriage. Then people will start getting sick, and if enough quantities of these toxins reach inland from the water, people will start dying. This is not conspiracy theory, it is biochemistry. It's a matter of titration, like the experiments we all did in high school chemistry. The ones where you added one clear chemical a drop at a time to a large beaker of another clear chemical, looking for the titration point. Before the final drop, you still had a crystal clear beaker of fluid. One more drop and all of a sudden, a plume of yellow or blue or red would form, because you finally reached the level of reactant necessary to initiate the chemical reaction.

It's not that black-and-white with people, since everyone has different tolerances and metabolisms,and the levels of these chemicals vary from region to region, from town to town. But essentially this is what we are looking at. Mississippi has reached levels at which plant life is dying. Soon other things will start dying as well. And still BP and Barry Soetoro pump tens of thousands of gallons of Corexit 9500 into the Gulf each day. Ask yourself why.

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