Bob Naman is an analytical chemist with almost 30 years in the field, based in Mobile, Alabama.
When WKRG News 5 gave Naman samples of water from the Gulf of Mexico, Naman found
oil contamination, and one of his samples actually exploded during
testing due - he believes - to the presence of methane gas or Corexit,
the dispersant that BP has been using in the Gulf:
But the story only starts there.
A few days ago, Naman was sent a sample of water from Cotton Bayou, Alabama.
Naman found 13.3 parts per million of the dispersant Corexit in the sample:
That's a little perplexing, given that Admiral Thad Allen said on August 9th that dispersants have not been used in the Gulf since the new capping stack was installed in mid-July:
We have not used dispersant since the capping
stack was put on. I believe that was the 15th of July.
But I would tell you, there are no
dispersants being used at this time.
More imporantly, Naman told me that he found 2-butoxyethanol in the sample.
BP and Nalco - the manufacturer of Corexit - have said that dispersant
containing 2-butoxyethanol is no longer being sprayed in the Gulf. As
the New York Times noted in June:
9527, used in lesser quantities during the earlier days of the spill
response, is designated a chronic and acute health hazard by EPA. The
9527 formula contains 2-butoxyethanol, pinpointed as the cause of
lingering health problems experienced by cleanup workers after the 1989
Exxon Valdez oil spill, and propylene glycol, a commonly used solvent.
9500, described by [Nalco's spokesman] as the "sole product" Nalco has
manufactured for the Gulf since late April, contains propylene glycol
and light petroleum distillates, a type of chemical refined from crude
Moreover, Naman said that he searched for the main ingredient in the
less toxic 9500 version - propylene glycol - but there was none
present. In other words, Naman found the most toxic ingredient in 9527
and did not find the chemical marker for 9500.
Since BP and Nalco say that no
dispersant containing 2-butoxyethanol has been sprayed in the Gulf for
many months, that either means:
(1) BP has been lying, and it is still using 2-butoxyethanol. In other words, BP is still Corexit 9527 in the Gulf
The dispersant isn't breaking down nearly as quickly as hoped, and the
more toxic form of Corexit used long ago is still present in the Gulf.
told me he used EPA-approved methods for testing the sample, but that a
toxicologist working for BP is questioning everything he is doing, and
trying to intimidate Naman by saying that he's been asked to look into
who Naman is working with.
I asked Naman if he could rule out
the second possibility: that the 2-butoxyethanol he found was from
a months-old applications of the more toxic version of Corexit. I assumed
that he would say that, as a chemist, he could not rule out that
However, Naman told me that he went to Dauphin
Island, Alabama, last night. He said that he personally saw huge
250-500 gallon barrels all over the place with labels which said:
Naman took the following picture of the label:
(The A version of the dispersant - 9527A - contains 2-butoxyethanol).
Naman further said he saw mercenaries dressed in all black fatigues,
using gps coordinates, applying Corexit 9527 at Dauphin Island and at
Bayou La Batre, Alabama. The mercenaries were "Blackwater"-type
mercenaries, and Naman assumed they must have been hired either by BP or
Naman also told me that Corexit 9527 is being sprayed at night, and
that it is being applied in such a haphazard manner that undiluted 9527
is running onto beach sand. For confirmation of many of Naman's
claims, see this, this and this.
Naman sent me the following additional pictures showing Corexit
pollution, use and storage (none show the mercenaries dressed in
fatigues; apparently, such photos would have been too risky):