EXCLUSIVE: Tests find sickened family has 50.3 ppm of Corexit’s 2-butoxyethanol in swimming pool — JUST ONE HOUR NORTH OF TAMPA (lab report included)


*Exclusive* Credit: FloridaOilSpillLaw.com

"Our heads are still swimming," stated Barbara Schebler of Homosassa, Florida, who received word last Friday that test results on the water from her family's swimming pool showed 50.3 ppm of 2-butoxyethanol, a marker for the dispersant Corexit 9527A used to break up and sink BP's oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

The problems began for the Scheblers a few weeks after the April 20 blow-out. "Our first clue were rashes we both got early in May. Both my husband and I couldn't get rid of the rashes and had to get cream from our doctor," Schebler noted, "I never had a rash in my life."

Then, on "July [23], my husband Warren mowed the lawn. It was hot so he got in the pool to cool off afterward. That afternoon he had severe diarrhea and very dark urine. This lasted about 2 days."


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Initially, they reasoned this was caused by the heat. The following week Mr. Schebler again mowed the lawn and went in the pool, and again he was sickened with the same severe symptoms.

Suspicious that the pool may be a problem, the family set out to get the water tested. "We have a 15 year old and felt we owed it to him to live in a clean, healthy environment," said Mrs. Schebler.

The Scheblers found Robert Naman, a Mobile, Alabama chemist who's performed multiple tests (1, 2, 3) for WKRG Channel 5, also out of Mobile.

"Warren collected a water sample from the pool filter on August 17th... packed the sample according to Mr. Naman's instructions, and overnighted it to his Mobile, Ala. lab that same day," she noted.

The results were delivered by Naman over the phone on August 27 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. A copy of the findings were then e-mailed to the Scheblers. To view the document, click here.

"Naman [said] our pool water sample we sent him contained 50.3 ppm [parts per million] 2-butoxyethanol marker for Corexit," according to Mrs. Schebler. Tests for arsenic came back at less than .02 ppm.

A July letter from four top scientists noted, "Corexit 9527A contains 2-BTE (2-butoxyethanol), a toxic solvent that ruptures red blood cells, causing hemolysis (bleeding) and liver and kidney damage (Johanson and Bowman, 1991, Nalco, 2010)."

The safety data sheet provided by Nalco, the manufacturer of Corexit 9527A, warns, "Harmful if absorbed through skin. May be harmful if swallowed. May cause liver and kidney effects and/or damage. There may be irritation to the gastro-intestinal tract."

Mr. Schebler's "severe diarrhea and very dark urine" appear to indicate gastro-intestinal tract irritation.

BP Press Officer Daren Beaudo released a statement on August 28 that reads, "Unified Command records indicate that the last date of use of the Corexit 9527 was May 22," almost three months before the samples were taken from the pool.

Yet, the Schebler's report is the second time in the last 10 days that the 2-butoxyethanol marker for Corexit 9527A has been discovered near the Gulf. It has also been found near the Florida border in Cotton Bayou, AL, at  about 1/4 the level as in Homosassa, FL. A WKRG segment from August 19 featured an inland water sample that tested for 13.3 ppm of the Corexit dispersant.

The question remains, how did this chemical find its way into the Schebler's pool in such a high concentration?

"At night we would hear very low aircraft, including helicopters. We figured they were just heading to help out in the Gulf," and Mrs. Schebler added that she was told, "The prevailing winds from the Gulf are easterly -- and when they spray, it is airborne -- and that we are right in the path of those winds." It was also noted that, "We had alot of rain here before my husband got sick, and wondered what was going on... We had been having daily downpours in July."

There is no way to be sure at this point. Though she stated, "Friends a few miles away... are having [a] similar situation. They are now thinking of getting their water tested."

Toxicologist discusses dispersants being encountered on land:

As for the family's current physical well being, "We both still have rashes that will not go away if we stop the cream we were given by our doctor. Warren still gets diarrhea on and off - this never happened with this frequency before."

But the trauma is not only physical. Here are the answers of the Scheblers when asked about the current situation at their home and in their area:

"We spoke to a number of mothers and fathers last evening [August 27]. Most have not even heard of Corexit. ... But for the most part, parents with small children were concerned."

"Some of the neighbors we spoke to were more worried about home values than pollution."

"We are hoping for someone to come and do more samplings, we were told we shouldn't eat anything from outside as it probably will all be tainted. It seems that we are the first to check on this, we're sure all our neighbors on this coast will have the same outcome."

"We are lost. We would like more testing. We've reached out to a few people we thought could tell us where we go from here, but haven't as of yet received any direction. We are not completely able to grasp what this means."

"We feel it is a horrible environment to live in and frankly, would like to leave the area. We believe that if this substance is in our pool, it could very well be in the air, especially because of the rashes we continue to apply medication to. We're not sure if this will enter the groundwater, or even already has. We feel other people need to know that if it's in our backyard, it is most definitely in other backyards."

"Where we go from here, we do not know."

Additional responses shared by the Scheblers:

  • A friend told us a few months ago that [the nuclear power station located less than 15 miles north is] checking constantly for the underwater plumes, because they could shut down the plant.
  • Warren cleans the lanai [around the pool] with a power washer, no chemicals at all. We've never used or purchased Simple Green [which contains 2-butoxyethanol].
  • We were stunned to see our beautiful, wine red daylillies turn a yellow-white color and die [around the end of June]. The plant kept producing sickly blooms after that, which would die on the stem. We've never seen a red flower turn color. The plants are 3 years old. Extremely odd - we should have taken pictures of that, but didn't...
  • One of our dogs had severe diarrhea for a week [in early May]. Neighbors have reported similar findings.

Additional information on dispersant use:

68 comments to EXCLUSIVE: Tests find sickened family has 50.3 ppm of Corexit’s 2-butoxyethanol in swimming pool — JUST ONE HOUR NORTH OF TAMPA (lab report included)

  • Noah Vail

    Hopefully this repairs the above poor HTML tagging. A preview option would be helpful.

    Robert Naman's Analytical Chemical Testing Laboratory Inc. was fined twice in 1998 & 1999 for Hazardous Waste Violations.

    ACT Labs seems to have been in place since the late 1980's, with Robert Naman listed as president.

    Here is a .

    Other than the above press clipping I can find no negative record of ACT or Robert M Naman. There are one or two publicly filed reports; where ACT provided evaluation/recommendation.

    There is also a lot of recent speculation about whether the Test Result Reports for Orange Beach and Homosassa FL are consistent with industry practices.

    I haven't found an evaluation, from a reputable enough entity; to accept or discount those tests reports.

    NV

  • Noah Vail

    3x=charm. preview=wish.

    Robert Naman's Analytical Chemical Testing Laboratory Inc. was fined twice in 1998 & 1999 for Hazardous Waste Violations.

    Read at Enviro-Net

    ACT Labs seems to have been in place since the late 1980's, with Robert Naman listed as president.

    Here is a Google Street View of ACT Labs.

    Other than the above press clipping I can find no negative record of ACT or Robert M Naman. There are one or two publicly filed reports; where ACT provided evaluation/recommendation.

    There is also a lot of recent speculation about whether the Test Result Reports for Orange Beach and Homosassa FL are consistent with industry practices.

    I haven't found an evaluation, from a reputable enough entity; to accept or discount those tests reports.

    NV

    Mod : Please delete above dupes if this is formatted correctly.

  • citizen

    BP has been fined and cited for violations far more than any lab on related issues and not over a decade ago, either--more like, THIS YEAR...

  • citizen

    THIS YEAR and just about every year....This is serious. Good luck to all!

  • I was taking a bath and my legs started feeling numb and then the drain started turnnd red and I screamed. I then realized that the beer I was drinking was lite beer and the weed I was smoking was laced with juice of the J and I woke up slapped my ass and called it a night.....hey anyone seen my disanto

  • That's too bad about the oil spill - have they made any advancements in fixing the situation? I hope that they can get the world back to its clean self!

  • I want to say thank you a whole lot for the job you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same effective job by you down the road also.

  • Pol.ice: not.
    Ray: the bride is the mother do?
    Pol.ice: not.
    Ray: Beer is the wine?

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