Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1. Were the operators the ones who were jailed?
2. Did the people know the dangers of running the tests on the reactor?
3. If the citizens send their children and themselves after theyare exposed to radiation, can't they pass it on to more people?
4. If the nuclear reactors powered 40% of the electricity, what will they use now?
5. If no facilities or waste water treatments exist, then are people just drinking the contaminated water?
6. Has the supersarcophagus been completed?
7. Is it spelled chernobyl or chornobyl?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Questions for Panel:

1. Can the chemicals ever completely disappear?

2. Would you live in Love Canal?

3. If you did not have a family or anyone to endanger would your opinion change for question 2?

4. Who is wrong (or the most at fault) the school board or hooker chemical?

5. Is safe the same thing as habitable?
   1.) What caused the toxic waste to begin being pushed to the surface?
   2.) What are some of the health hazards associated with the chemicals dumped there?
   3.) Besides humans how are other parts of the ecosystem affected by This?

The winter of 1977 brought blizzards that filled up the canal. After that came spring and a lot of rain. So all the water was forced under the canal, causing the chemicals to ooze out. Some health hazards associated with the chemicals dumped there could be things like death, liver and stomach problems, diabetes, damaged immune systems, and nervous system problems. Not just humans can be affected by the chemical waste, the ecosystem is damaged as well. If these chemicals are toxic, then they are not good for anyone/thing. First off, they can kill the animals, and sometimes some chemicals have worse effects on animals than humans. Dioxin can cause cancer, death, and other horrible things to animals. The waste can also kill plants, and if an animal then eats that plant, it will die as well. Also the chemicals can cause soil contamination, air pollution, and water pollution.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hazards of Oil Dispersants

Susan Shaw really opened my eyes and made me realize what was happening. Until now I never thought things were this bad. This video basically tells you the reality of the situation. The water is very contaminated, things are far worse now with the oil + chemical mix than with just the oil. Now, sea life will most likely die out in the gulf. Shaw described the chemical dispersant process like this: Micelles form around the oil and then solvent breaks into the oil, the lipid membrane, then the surfactants break down the oil. The problem is, is that the micelles job is to deliver, and they do, but they deliver to everything, including the fish. So if the fish haven't received any of the micelle, then the micelle will make sure it does. Since the dispersants break down lipid membrane cells, oil can enter the skins and organs more easily. Oil is very toxic, especially to our organs, and it can cause birth problems, mutations, etc. Also, the Corexit that was used contains Arsenic, which can cause cancer. One of Shaw's main arguments is that we have the right to know what's going on, but information is not being given. Like with the Corexit data sheets, they're supposed to show all the ingredients, but they pretty much say nothing. Another terrible thing is that there is no fertilization whatsoever in the corals, which are home to 25% of sea life. Now, what's going to happen is the piscivorous fish are going to be hit by all the corexit-oil and they have very sensitive gills/respiratory system so it won' t be good for them. The animals will get internal bleeding and something called chemical pneumonia. Shaw is also incredibly concerned about the air-breathing mammals because every time they come up for a breath they will breath the oil fumes, they will also get chemical pneumonia, internal bleeding, ulcers, burns on their eyes and mouth, and the list goes on. Shaw also believes that this isn't even the beginning of what will happen to the gulf animals.

For me I felt that the video was a little bit on the negative side (not necessarily a bad thing), and the article was kind of indifferent. It tells us about how the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) said that 75% of the oil is gone and the oil spill is not a big deal and will soon go away. Then the article talks about how researchers at the University of Georgia came up with different results. UGA has found that the oil thought to be gone, is actually just at the bottom of the gulf. Director of UGA, Charles Hopkinson, basically said that the idea of 75% of oil gone is rather ridiculous. The University of South Florida also disagrees with the government's optimistic idea of three quarters of the oil being gone. The UGA researchers were also the ones to discover the underwater oil plumes, the director believes it will take years for the oil to completely disappear. The government assumed that residual oil had reached the shore where it would be broken down by bacteria. Unfortunately, the oil is actually just floating around or making its way to the bottom of the ocean, nowhere near the shore.

The author, Bryan Walsh, towards the end of article says that we need more information and more studies. This is rather similar to what Shaw was saying towards the end of the video about how we had the right to know. I agree with both Walsh and Shaw that we should be able to know and that we need to know and uncover what is going on so that we can than find what will be going on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

8th Grade DLC

Three things I want to know about chemical dispersants:
1. If there is a way to use the dispersant without harming fish
2. How toxic the chemicals are
3. If we really made things worse than they were in the beginning with the dispersants