Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dirty Side of Cleaning

In spring of 2010, North America experienced one of the worst oil spills known in history. It is estimated that almost five million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico over the three-month period. After all of the devastation and uproar, people committed themselves to help cleaning up the spill and trying to reestablish the life of the ocean and the surrounding area. The news reports glorified the work of these volunteers and criticized BP for this inexcusable series of events, but many people failed to ask what product was being used to clean the ocean.
Recently, I was browsing the Internet when I came across this video, Although this video does express or show scientific information backing up the very negative side of the products being used, it does show the emotion and physical damage that the product has on humanity. This product is known as Corexit. Corexit is used to break down oil, similar to any other detergent. However with all the “help” it is doing, it is causing extreme amounts of harm as well.
After watching the video, I became interested in researching more about the product and its use by oil company, BP, what I came across was a disturbing amount of negative information surrounding the product and its use. After the oil spill in 2010, BP was given two options in regards to cleaning up the devastating mess they left behind. The company was offered to use Corexit, or a safer alternative to the remover, one that would release fewer toxins, having less of an effect on the wildlife and the ocean. BP chose to use Corexit instead. After searching Google up and down, I found out disturbing information regarding the product. It was banned in the United Kingdom over a decade ago because of it’s harsh affects, it contains a higher amount of toxins than the alternative solutions and it is used by BP because it is a well known solution, BP was familiar with the name.
How can a company like BP, invest in creating more damage, when there are obvious alternatives to the product. There have been numerous reports on the negative side effects of Corexit, and yet the company chooses to ignore any sustainable route and opt out for what they know. After the oil spill in the gulf, the wildlife and environment suffered from extreme amounts of damage and yet it seems, BP still hasn’t stopped. Corexit is blatantly causing more harm than good. The company decided against a more sustainable product and because of it, wildlife, the surrounding environment, and humans are suffering from the repercussions.

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