Posts Tagged ‘Corexit’

Blood Tests Show Elevated Level of Toxic Hydrocarbons in Gulf Residents

Blood Tests Show Elevated Level of Toxic Hydrocarbons in Gulf Residents

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

A number of different chemists are finding elevated levels of toxic hydrocarbons in the bloodstream of Gulf coast residents.

What is most disturbing about these results is that people who simply live near the water are showing higher than normal levels of toxic chemicals. These are not fishermen, shrimpers, oil workers or others who work on the water.

Jerry Cope recently wrote about his test results in a must-read essay at Huffington Post.

Several Gulf coast residents described their test results in the following video:

And the Intel Hub has uploaded some of the other test reports.

The local ABC news affiliate in Pensacola, Florida – ABC3 Wear – covered the story:

Several residents of Orange Beach say the oil spill has been making them sick…and they have the test results to prove it.

Gerry Cope, Margaret Carrouth and Robin Young were all feeling the same symptoms of headaches, watery eyes, and breathing problems…

All three had blood samples taken at the beginning of August…

Tests revealed each had elevated levels of the Hydrocarbons Ethyl Benzene and Xylene.

Bob Naman, a chemist out of Mobile, analyzed the results.

"He shows three times the amount you typically find in someone’s blood."

"These people are from different backgrounds, and from different walks of life, all showing same similar organic compounds in blood, says to me its very likely in the air."

Background levels of these chemicals were taken from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.

It is well known that oil fires can increase the levels of ethyl benzene and xylene in people’s bloodstream. For example, in studying Gulf War illness, the National Defense Research Institute found that exposure to the Kuwaiti oil fires set by Saddam Hussein increased ethyl benzene levels in firefighters more than 10 times – from .052 to .53 micrograms per liter – and more than doubled xylene levels:

Table 3.6
VOC Concentrations in Blood in U.S. Personnel
(µg/l)

VOC Kuwait City Personnel
(Group I)
Firefighters
(Group II)
U.S. Reference
(Control)
Benzene 0.035


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BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

New Orleans attorney Stuart Smith knows something about radiation from oil drilling:

Smith is well known for his role as lead counsel in an oilfield radiation case that resulted in a verdict of $1.056 billion against ExxonMobil for contaminating land it leased from the Grefer family in Harvey, Louisiana –– and attempting to cover it up.

***
The court stated that from June 1986 to March 1987, “Exxon officials intentionally withheld information,” and that the company “knew the [radioactive] scale posed a direct danger to the physical health of those workers.” Oilfield waste, or TERM, is primarily composed of radium, a highly radioactive chemical element. Exposure to radium is known to cause a variety of devastating illnesses, including cancer. Radium’s impact on the human body is particularly acute because it is similar chemically to calcium –– and as such is frequently absorbed into bones after entering the body.

But at least there’s no radiation being released from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf, right?

Well, as Smith wrote on August 4th:

This is directly from the EPA website discussing oil drilling activity:

“These processes may leave behind waste containing concentrations of naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM) from the surrounding soils and rocks. Once exposed or concentrated by human activity, this naturally-occurring material becomes Technologically-Enhanced NORM or TENORM. Radioactive materials are not necessarily present in the soils at every well or drilling site. However in some areas of the country, such as the upper Midwest or Gulf Coast states, the soils are more like to contain radioactive material.”

“Radioactive wastes from oil and gas drilling take the form of produced water, drilling mud, sludge, slimes, or evaporation ponds and pits. It can also concentrate in the mineral scales that form in pipes (pipe scale), storage tanks, or other extraction equipment. Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas. The radon is released to the atmosphere, while the produced water and mud containing radium are placed in ponds or pits for evaporation, re-use, or recovery.”

“The people most likely to be exposed to this source of radiation are workers at the site. They may inhale radon gas which is released during drilling and produced by the decay of radium, raising their risk of lung cancer. In addition, they are


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The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster 

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

GRAND ISLE, LA - AUGUST 10: A family plays in the shallows near oil booms August 10, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. According to a statement issued by BP, efforts to complete the relief well will cease temporarily due to a U.S. National Weather Service prediction that there is a 60 percent chance of a tropical cyclone forming in the Gulf in the next 24 hours. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As I mentioned last Monday night in my Outside the Box, I did not make it to Turks and Caicos, but did end up in Baton Rouge for a special seminar on the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. I have both good news (or maybe more like less-bad news) and bad news. Today’s letter is a report on what I learned.

The conference was sponsored by the Global Interdependence Center (GIC - http://www.interdependence.org/). David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors organized the event with help from people from Louisiana State University. The quality of the speakers was outstanding. They were extremely knowledgeable and well-connected. The meeting was conducted under the Chatham House Rule, which means all the speakers spoke off the record, unless they indicated otherwise. This allows for a more frank discussion. So, much of what you will read from me is my impressions of what I heard, which I cannot attribute to specific speakers. Indeed, some would be at some occupational risk if I did so.

Some of what I write today will be controversial to some readers. That is a risk I will take, as the large majority will find this interesting, or at least I hope so.

From Unmitigated Disaster to Merely Disaster

First, let’s begin with the "good" news. The ecological destruction that was first feared is not going to be as bad as once thought, for a variety of reasons. It is not good, but it is not the unmitigated disaster it could have been.

COCODRIE, LA - JUNE 24: Grass and a boom that are soaked in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead are seen in the wetlands on June 24, 2010 in Cocodrie, Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20 leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Of Mexico. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Edward Overton, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, LSU, is an expert on oil spills. He was at the Exxon Valdez. The Exxon Valdez (EV) was a big, black, thick tide of oil. The Deepwater Horizon is a much bigger spill: every ten days the amount of the EV spill spewed into the Gulf, from April 20 to July 15. Professor Overton spoke mostly for the record. He is very much a concerned environmentalist, and he is also a very serious scientist.

He reminded us that the Louisiana wetlands are a very important part of the ecological system of the Gulf of Mexico. Oversimplifying, they are the nutrient source for the small animal world which feeds the larger. Without the…
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Dead Fish Are Washing Up Everywhere . . . Is It Due to BP Oil Spill and Dispersants?

Dead Fish Are Washing Up Everywhere . . . Is It Due to BP Oil Spill and Dispersants?

Carl Pellegrin (left) of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tim Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to net an oiled pelican in Barataria Bay, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. The pelican was successfully netted and transported to a facility on Grand Isle, Louisiana., for stabilization before being taken to Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Venice, La., for cleaning. State and federal wildlife agencies are cooperating across the Gulf Coast to rescue wildlife affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  UPI/John Miller/U.S. Coast Guard Photo via Newscom

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

Dead fish are washing up everywhere.

For example, numerous dead fish washed ashore in Massachusetts a couple of days ago:
 

Dead fish had washed up in New Jersey yesterday.

Hundreds of thousands of dead fish washed up today in New Jersey, and even the birds wouldn’t eat them:

(The second report in this video compilation – referring to a ripped fishing net – is actually from Virginia, some 210 miles from the scene of the first report in New Jersey. The size of the Virginia fish incident was much smaller than the one in New Jersey.)

And they have washed up in Mississippi as well.

Scientists attribute the dead fish to low oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico.

Indeed, scientists have been warning about this for months. For example, on May 16th, the New York Times wrote:

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

As I pointed out in June, the high methane content in the BP crude also depletes oxygen:

As CBS notes:

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying


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Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

Karl Denninger separates fact and fiction in the Gulf Oil Spill story. 

Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

RACCOON ISLAND, LA - JULY 15: Pelicans are seen atop a piece of a destroyed boat July 15, 2010 at Raccoon Island, Louisiana. Biologists say at least 300 pelicans have been smeared with oil on the island, which is the largest nesting area for seabirds on the coast of Louisiana. BP is testing a new oil cap, and is temporarily allowing oil to leak from a second pipe as part of preparations for closing the valves to see if the cap can withstand the pressure and stop the flow of oil into the gulf. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

I was promised an earth-shattering ka-doom!

Well, not really.

And the spew is not, in fact, funny.

But what’s even less funny is the number of people who have come completely unhinged with their "imminent death of everything and everyone" nonsense.

Let’s go down the list of the some of the better ones:

Everyone who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill is dead (or alternatively, that across the entire population of those who worked on the Valdez spill, the average age of death is 51.)

Really? Can you source that? I’ve been trying. Yeah, I’ve found the claim – 10 seconds with Google finds it. It’s been repeated everywhere. CNN had an alleged "expert" on who made the 51 year life expectancy claim – "almost all who worked on the Exxon Valdez cleanup are now dead."

Can I find an actual documented source for the claim? Nope. And I’ve tried to find it. No luck.

The same interviewee claimed that the components of the dispersent, Corexit, were not disclosed.  This we know to be false; there are two formulations and we know what’s in them.  The nastiest component is called "Butyl Cellusolve", and is indeed a nasty chemical solvent.  The question is concentration; incidentally, you can buy cleaning solutions containing butyl cellusolve at Home Depot, among other places.  I don’t recommend drinking it.

All of these claims appear to be traceable to one so-called self-identified "expert."  If she has actual evidence, such as a roster of all the people who worked on the Exxon Valdez, their ages, and the disposition of their health (and death, as she alleges) then let’s have it.  This sort of extreme claim requires strict proof.  Period.

There is a second well that BP (and/or Diamond Offshore) is hiding that is the real leak that is five (or alternatively seven) miles away; this is a sideshow and they can’t plug either.  The pressures are off the charts, never encountered before.

Really?  Then how come they just did plug the well?  Off the charts?  About two weeks ago there was a pressure gauge on one of the downhole lines, and it read 7,000 psi.  The water at that depth exerts ~2,000 psi.  If this was an absolute gauge (probably true) then the in-bore relative pressure (relative to the sea floor) was…
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Oil Spill, Corexit, Arsenic, Collateral Damage

Here’s an interesting video on the chemicals being used in the Gulf oil spill’s clean-up process that doesn’t seem to have much to do with cleaning up the spill but rather with dispersing the oil making it less easy to detect. Logically, to clean it up, to get the oil out of the water, you wouldn’t think adding chemicals to make the oil dissipate into the water would be particularly useful. – Ilene 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See also: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010), NY Times

Excerpt:  

Dispersants

BP also clashed with the federal government over its use of dispersants, chemicals sprayed on the spill that were meant to break up the oil in the hope that it would settle to the bottom. In a novel approach, BP has been spraying dispersants on the oil as it leaves the well head to reduce the amount that reaches the surface.

The Environmental Protection Agency directed the company to stop using two dispersants from a line of products called Corexit and switch to something less toxic. The oil company defended its use of Corexit and taken issue with the methods the agency used to estimate its toxicity, and continued to spray the chemicals past the E.P.A. deadline.

The E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, said that she had ordered the oil giant to take "immediate steps to scale back the use of dispersants." She said the amount of chemicals applied to control the oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon well – more than 700,000 gallons so far on the gulf’s surface and a mile underwater at the leaking well head – was "approaching a world record." 

Allan also wrote briefly on the subject in his weekend update.  - Ilene 

The Oil Volcano – Update

I’m bringing the first link below forward from a Comment just posted in a prior blog. It contains a You Tube video that address some problems caused by the oil volcano and in particular, collateral damage that might be occurring…
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Toxicologists: Corexit “Ruptures RBCs, Causes Internal Bleeding”, “Allows Crude Oil To Penetrate “Into The Cells” and “Every Organ System”

Toxicologists: Corexit “Ruptures Red Blood Cells, Causes Internal Bleeding”, "Allows Crude Oil To Penetrate “Into The Cells” and “Every Organ System"

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

As I have previously noted, Corexit is toxic, is less effective than other dispersants, and is actually the damage caused by the oil spill.

Now, two toxicologists are saying that Corexit is much more harmful to human health and marine life than we’ve been told.

Specifically Gulf toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw – Founder and Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute – dove into the oil spill to examine the chemicals present.

Dr. Shaw told CNN:

If I can tell you what happens — because I was in the oil — to people…

Shrimpers throwing their nets into water… [then] water from the nets splashed on his skin. …

[He experienced a] headache that lasted 3 weeks… heart palpitations… muscle spasms… bleeding from the rectum…

And that’s what that Corexit does, it ruptures red blood cells, causes internal bleeding, and liver and kidney damage. … 

This stuff is so toxic combined… not the oil or dispersants alone. …

Very, very toxic and goes right through skin.

***

The reason this is so toxic is because of these solvents [from dispersant] that penetrate the skin of anything that’s going through the dispersed oil takes the oil into the cellstakes the oil into the organs… and this stuff is toxic to every organ system in the body. …

Similarly, marine biologist and toxicologist Dr. Chris Pincetich – who has an extensive background in testing the affects of chemicals on fish – says that Corexit disrupts cell membranes.

He also explains that EPA toxicity testing for Corexit is woefully inadequate, since EPA testing for mortality usually only requires a 96-hour time frame. His doctoral research found that fish that were alive at 96 hours after exposure to pesticide were dead at two weeks, so the chemicals were considered non-lethal for the purposes of the test.
 

Drs. Shaw and Pincetich are wildlife conservationists. But even industry scientists working for Exxon and the manufacturer of Corexit itself admit that the stuff is toxic.


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Zero Hedge

Erdogan Has Ordered Turkish "Operations" Against Political Enemies On US Soil

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A spokesman for Turkish President Erdogan said during a Friday press conference that "operations" have been ordered against Turkey's political enemies, including those on US soil

"Our relevant units and institutions will continue their operations in the countries the F...



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Phil's Favorites

The next cold war? US-China trade war risks something worse

 

The next cold war? US-China trade war risks something worse

There’s a chill in the air these days. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Courtesy of Charles Hankla, Georgia State University

President Donald Trump is making good on his pledge to escalate the trade war with China by imposing tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese government, for its part, is already retaliating with new taxes on $60 billion of American imports. ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Lumber prices fall 45% this year, sending macro message?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

 Home and Lumber prices can send important messages to how the economy is doing. The chart above looks at Lumber prices over the past 11-years.

So far this year, Lumber and the DJ Home Construction index is diverging against the broad market. This chart highlights that Lumber is now down over 40% from its peak earlier this year.

Below compares the performance of the S&P to the DJ Home Construction index this year-

...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Sep 23, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

More saber rattling between China and the U.S. did little to distract the market.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump reiterated his hard-line stance on China during a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda and said the U.S. had “no choice” but to levy another $267 billion in duties on China. That would come on top of announced tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods announced late Monday.  China responded with tariffs of 5% to 10% on $60 billion worth of U.S. products that will take effect Sept. 24, and said it may introduce more measures if the U.S. goes ahead with higher tariffs.

This seems to be the prevailing thought process, ...



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Insider Scoop

Buybacks On The Rise, But Buyback ETFs Are Lagging

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PKW Buybacks Are Falling, But The Buyback ETF Is Rising Gaining Insight With A Buyback ETF Related ...

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ValueWalk

The U.S. trade deficit with China is a dangerous scorecard as the mainland remains an unlikely source of U.S. profits

By Joe Quinlan. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the United States and China at loggerheads over trade, investors should be aware of the many economic ties binding the two countries. Bank of America, U.S. Trust has released a new report that explores some of the finer points of U.S.-Sino relations and the strategic, but little understood, competitive advantages for corporate America.

The seven factors described below underscore the dynamism and competitiveness of U.S. companies and may help explain the resilience of U.S. large cap stocks despite ratcheting trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

U.S.-China Checklist: Understanding Some...

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Members' Corner

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

 

This is very good; it's about "firehosing", a type of propaganda, and how it works.

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

A 2016 report described Russian propaganda as:
• high in volume
• rapid, continuous and repetitive
• having no commitment to objective reality
• lacking consistency

...

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Digital Currencies

Mania to Mania

 

Mania to Mania

Courtesy of 

“Russell rarely played the stock market and had little investing experience when he put around $120,000 into bitcoin in November 2017.”

This comes from a CNN money article, Bitcoin crash: This man lost his savings when cryptocurrencies plunged. From January 2017 through the peak in early 2018, Ethereum gained 16,915%.

Any time you have something go vertical, you just know that some peopl...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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