Results of Experiments by Private Industry Can be Kept from Public View?
Is it customary for private industry to
"bury the results" of an experiment they conduct if they don't like the results?
Just pay off the researchers & no knows that the outcome was bad?
That's what a para-professional said.
Never thought about it before,
but suppose it would be the case.
Not so when done by a public entity, though?
An Experiment on the Environment and on Workers
- The Use of Inipol EAP 22 for 'Bioremediation' of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill,
Aug, 1989 and again in spring/summer of 1990
Keep in Mind...
...that the entire oil spill cleanup process during the
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill cleanup
was an experiment:
(On the other hand, a successful product would be financially profitable for them.)
New experiments in the Prince William Sound ... should not be undertaken. *
(A recipe for catastrophe again?) *
When EPA gave permission to try bioremediation, EPA admitted there was not sufficient testing... So Exxon worked up a new formula, Inipol EAP 22, to replace the 1985 version, and 'experimented' on the environment.
Just listen to a chemist for an hour and you will both learn a lot, and also realize what an extremely complex issue this was. If everything tests out well, you could know what you are supposed to be doing within a couple of months. Most likely it could take years to know how to proceed. Then consider that what works in the laboratory, may not replicate on a large scale. And was it reasonable to believe that the microbes they needed would be there? *
However, it was also an experiment on the workers. "For what reason was the company drawing the blood of some of the bioremediation workers... with very large needles... to prevent destroying whatever it was they were looking for?" states one such worker. Have any workers been able to know what the results of the blood work was? Isn't that more important to them than anyone else? When does the low red blood cell anemia, an indication of hemolytic anemia appear, caused from 2-butoxyethanol &/or solvents? Right away, most likely.
The workers had to keep on, no matter what. If results were not good, where would the company come up with any other workers who wanted such a job? "The show must go on," to quote an expression. There was less than 2 months left of the Alaska summer, anyway. You go below a certain temperature, and the enzymes will not function... nothing happens that you are hoping for.
The company had put in a dry cleaning solvent for the Inipol EAP 22 mixture to adhere to the oil and keep it from balling up. Whatever it did to the 'sturdy' microbes, it also must have helped polish the rocks. Without 2-butoxyethanol would the beaches have 'looked' as good?
For the phosphorus they chose tri(laureth-4)-phosphate. This is not a stand alone chemical; were it to bond with sodium, it would be near harmless (?); however, bonding with 2-butoxyethanol would produce a near lethal, complex chemical... very hazardous to human health! Called by a chemical analyst: OPs, known neurotoxins. So did it or didn't it? Under the conditions it was applied... sometimes not heated...who knows? However, it was intended to bond with the nitrogen in urea and also to provide the phosphorus.
Add to that the fact that many times, to thin the concentration, it was heated (90C or 194F) to near its boiling point (>100C) and the rouge chemicals could produce any number of unknown chemical combinations which no one could predict! (There are numerous recordings of workers having blood in their urine... a sign of too much exposure... even with a single incidence of exposure). Inipol EAP 22 is the consistency of honey when not heated; per Exxon's MSDS for it 7-28-89 (Yes, then it was an Exxon product with MSDS produced by Exxon), workers are to "avoid breathing vapor or mist" Excuse, but when heated to near it's boiling point (which they didn't know the boiling point per date of MSDS) the fumes at the nozzle would be enormous, to quote a chemist.
Did any agency have the responsibility to check exposure limits? ...was Exxon the only one checking the results of their own product? Hardly objective, to say the least.
Also, at what temperature does the ingredient of Inipol EAP 22 that biodegrades, degrade? Complex chemical ingredients such as some of the 4 which make it up, are not very biodegradable. Only an ingredient * is biodegradable. (Which one, & under what circumstances?) Have we now polluted our waters and beaches with chemicals for multi-years to come? That's a serious issue. Exxon will concur that Inipol EAP 22TM is harmful to mammals until it biodegrades."...how long will that take?...and what if it doesn't? 1993 herring run?
Have a toxicologist check what the health effects are when
(10-12% by weight)
is mixed with
and then heated to 194F ?
Note: N-P-K ratio of 7.3:0.8:0
Check the Carbons above. (Mission: to get rid of carbons, right?) *
... not much of a fertilizer considering it has a C:N:P ratio of 62:5:1 * (So a Surfactant)
Who Was the Manufacturer? CECA - of Atofina company, the chemical branch of TotalFinaElf
Sometime since EVOS cleanup initial usage,
has been substituted with a mono/duo version of phosphate:
phosphoric acid, dodecyl ester CAS Nr 12751-23-4
An obvious indication, that the complex version didn't work out.
Is there any concern over lack of oxygen in the water after heavy 'fertilizer' use ... affecting fish, etc: eutrophication? *
What about the high demand 2-butoxyethanol has itself for oxygen?
Could it be that the reason workers' health was not monitored long term? ...
even with all ingredients of Inipol EAP 22 being on the TSCA & hazard's lists,
was that the health results were not expected to be good...
& that's counterproductive for company image?
With no appropriate protective gear -
& long days of work & many multiple days in a row
How could any worker not be overexposed?...
DO NOT BREATE VAPORS: DO NOT GET ON SKIN!
A Chemist from those times comments *
No medical or chemical expertise here...
just listening to those who are experts
and trying to share in a 'lay,' but understandable fashion.
Ideas to think on.
Sadly doctors don't seem to know what is wrong with these over-exposed to 2-butoxyethanol.
They don't seem to be checking for hemolytic anemia and kidney and liver function.
They don't understand chemical poisoning
& the need for those so poisoned to avoid chemicals for the rest of their lives.
AMA, please help!
Even Those Not Working on the Beaches, were exposed to Inipol EAP 22 *
What really went wrong
Things were worse in July, 1989
with multiple experimental chemicals
Who knows who was exposed to who knows what? *
Most experimental products didn't even have an MSDS
VRGA Workers with inipol EAP 13 asked for one & couldn't get one
Things are worse today,
as Exxon is pushing another of its own products:
Corexit with 38% 2-butoxyethanol - still on the Alyeska Marine Pipeline Terminal
Inipol EAP 22 and Corexit should be removed from EPA's OK to use list.
& other products our country uses are not OK either - opinion
Contact * regarding Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Cleanup Workers
Page written 2002 - update May 30, 2003
Copyright © 2002 - 2009 - 2012 to the present - Margaret Diann Hursh