TOXIC RAIN says NSF-funded geochemist: “It may very well be raining hydrocarbons” far inland from coast (VIDEO)

On September 1, National Geographic published a report, ‘Could pollutants from the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico end up as far north as New England?’

National Geographic followed Siddhartha Mitra, a geochemist from East Carolina University, on a National Science Foundation-funded trip to the Gulf where he took samples in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and then North Carolina.

“What they’re looking for are hydrocarbons associated with the oil. They break away from oil into the air during evaporation, or burning, and also break away in the water, both naturally, and with dispersants applied to break up the oil… If the dispersant chemicals are mixed in, they could also be carried inland by rainfall and wind currents.  If the material is toxic, there could be toxic effects,” the report noted.

Statements by Mitra:

  • No one’s really thought about the effect of material coming over from the ocean, marine areas onto land.
  • Any type of carbon molecules, carbon containing chemicals, that are in the surface slick or surface areas of the Gulf of Mexico would be picked up by hurricanes and storms and then that material could also be dropped by precipitation on land further upland, away from the coast.
  • Oil and water don’t mix, in general. But many of the compounds that are in oil, start dissolving very readily. Those are the hydrocarbons, many of which are toxic at low concentrations.
  • The people who are living in upland areas, thinking to themselves I don’t need to be concerned as much about the health effects of the oil spill, because I don’t live near the coast, and if you actually have rain that has some of these hydrocarbons in it, it’s not going to be raining oil as you think of it but it may very well be raining hydrocarbons which are coming from that oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOTE: The original National Geographic report contains several misquotes of Mitra — most of the errors downplay his comments, while none overstate them. However, National Geographic should be commended for even publishing the information. Thank you, NatGeo.

7 comments to TOXIC RAIN says NSF-funded geochemist: “It may very well be raining hydrocarbons” far inland from coast (VIDEO)

  • vh

    they are right, chemical burned and stained and dying leaves and other effects here in the midwest (near St. Louis)

  • Daniel Hughes

    Same thing here in south Metro Atlanta, back at the end of June and beginning of July. Burned leaves from then are still visible; and just this morning, I picked some green peppers out of a backyard garden with the same evidence of toxic fallout, and it hasn’t even rained here in weeks!

  • premurderedGOM

    Bayou Chico, Pensacola, Fl. You don’t have to be a scientist to know where rain comes from. Here’s some food for thought. I purchashed a bag of oranges yesterday that smell like OIL BY-PRODUCTS. I will return them today. Corexit rain still falls, you can smell it. The “sounds” of the Bayou are gone, crickets, catydids bullfrogs….it is now silent. The grass smells like heavy pesticides. The green ivy is growing rapidly and spreading, this is a BAD OMEN. Ivy is associated with negative energy. The wild Bamboo is dead. The trees are covered in greenish white “mold”. Palm trees look very ill. The sea grass is dying. The hand-fed fish are gone. The wildlife is gone. The bugs are gone. The boat dock crabs are gone. And soon WE will be gone.

  • regina

    Interesting…here in central Virginia, I went out hiking in a state park yesterday and just about freaked out to see rain spot-sized “burns,” holes, and/or discoloration on leaves of nearly every type of trees and bushes. And there weren’t any bugs causing it. At first, you walk by and don’t notice, but if you pause and look, yes–it’s terrifying!! It’s like looking at an attack of cancer or something. I took leaf samples and I’m going to ask the park ranger. It’s really weird and what is it doing to livestock, crops, people?

  • regina

    Is the whole Southeast being affected? What about TX, NM, IA or farther north??? Someone needs to investigate this, seriously!!! THIS IS HUGE.

  • regina

    Could it be regular acid rain up near St. Louis? I know there is a lot of pollution in E. St. Louis to begin with? Here, we don’t have the pollution and I had NEVER seen that kind of sick-looking burns on every plant before here in VA in all the years I’ve been here. (I guess Dick Cheney must really be hiding in his underground bunker in Va now!!)

  • Daniel Hughes

    Regina, I’m quite sure that the burns you saw and the ones from St. Louis have the same source, the evil, careless actions of (expletive) BP.

    Pollution has been a problem for years in St. Louis and Atlanta as well, but I have NEVER seen this type of burn on vegetation before. And I have seen youtube videos on which showed the same type of burns on foliage in Forth Worth, TX.

    All of this is the fault of BP because (to my knowledge) is wasn’t happening before the spraying of millions of gallons of toxic chemicals on millions of gallons of toxic oil.

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