Corexit 9580 Dispersant Use in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Cleanup 1989





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Uploaded on May 13, 2010

Dispersants are being used in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. Dispersants are not safe to humans or the environment. They contain various industrial solvents and workers must be protected from exposure. Dispersants are usually applied directly to the spilled oil by spraying from an airplane, helicopter, or vessel. During the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup in Alaska, some dispersants were manually sprayed by workers on oiled beaches. Although dispersants are manufactured by many companies and their ingredients may differ, most contain a detergent and a solvent. The solvent allows the detergent to be applied. The detergent helps to break up the oil on the water surface into very small drops. These tiny oil drops are then able to easily mix with the water and be diluted. Most dispersants contain petroleum distillates, a colorless liquid with a gasoline- or kerosene-like odor. They are composed of a mixture of paraffins (C5 to C13) that may contain a small amount of aromatic hydrocarbons. Exposure to can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, or respiratory tract. NIOSH also recommends preventing skin contact with oil mist. To prevent harmful respiratory and dermal health effects NIOSH recommends reducing worker exposures to petroleum distillates and similar cleaning agents in dispersants. For more details, go to the NIOSH website at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/oil_spill/dis... . This was clipped from video produced by the Governors Office of the State of Alaska in 1989 and 1990.

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