Did Exxon know the primary ingredient in Corexit is very toxic?
Exxon researchers have already admitted that its dispersant products, Corexit 9527A and Corexit 9500A, are significantly toxic for aquatic life. But no one knew how toxic the chemicals are for humans. John Sheffield, president of Alabaster Corporation, which makes Sea Brat 4, a safer, less toxic alternative to Corexit, contacted me with accusations that he believes Exxon has known for quite a while that the primary ingredient in Corexit is very toxic.
He included the material safety data sheets for various Corexit products and documents issued from the companies involved to support his claims, which I have pasted below (pdf). In some cases, I have included screen shots from outside sources (CITGO, for example) to bolster Sheffield’s claims.
This gets a little dense, but the key word to look out for is”Norpar,” Exxon’s line of solvants.
This product (Norpar) is basically kerosene. Although kerosene and napthalene (cigarette lighter fluid) are typically the main ingredients.
Norpar is a family of Exxon solvent products. Chemical industry insiders have said Exxon froze that market to everyone including existing customers who had already purchased the products so they would have a large reserve stockpiled for use. Which is an indication of the business they are doing and the business they expect to do. Other transportation insiders indicate that as many as 30 tankers a day have been reserved by Nalco [the company that makes Corexit]. The story is that Norpar solvent is the primary ingredient in Corexit.
The attached documents:
Documents publicly available reveal the true make up of Corexit and the “proprietary” ingredients!
1. Document titled “Dispersion and Biodegradation of Oil Spills on Water” by Exxon Research & Engineering Company. www.iosc.org/papers/00544.pdf
This paper describes the ingredients of Exxon’s Corexit 9500 as being “a blend of Span 80 and Tween 80 in a paraffinic solvent, Norpar 13.” (PDF document, Page 3 last two paragraphs.)
Section 2: Composition/ Information on Ingredients states: “This product contains approximately 99% linear paraffins, primarily C13-C14.” Carbon chains C12 to C16 are basically kerosene although they make up diesel and various heating oils.
The CAS Numbers (chemical identification numbers) on various Corexit products as shown upon the MSDS sheets as follows:
Corexit 9500 “64742-47-8” described as a naphthol which is like naphtha the main ingredient in cigarette lighter fluid. From CITGO:
Corexit CAS No is the same:
Norpar 13 “64771-72-8” is the chemical name for “Kerosene”
The proprietary “organic sulfonic acid salt” is disclosed in the 2001 patent filing US 6168702 described as “Chemical demulsifier for desalting heavy crude” owned by Exxon Research & Engineering.
From MSDS for Norpar 13:
Product has a low order of acute oral and dermal toxicity, but minute amounts aspirated into the lungs during ingestion or vomiting may cause mild to severe pulmonary injury and possibly death. This product is judged to have an acute oral LD50 (rat) greater than 5 g/kg of body weight, and an acute dermal LD50 (rabbit) greater than 3.16 g/kg of body weight.