This is a guest article by Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks. It certainly gave me pause for thought – Simon

While America ponders the effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon Well explosion on wild life and first responders, the plight of the average American in the Gulf has been either ignored or placed on the back-burner. The government, media and BP seem only concerned with what is in front of them, not what is either unseen or will happen in the future. In this case, we are talking about the very near future.

The explosion ignited crude oil and converted its most dangerous chemicals into gaseous plumes that bellowed into the atmosphere much like releasing a helium balloon at a birthday party. The clouds went up and up until not seen again, and then – forgotten. No, this is not a Disney movie. This is reality.

Crude oil is a mixture of many different kinds of organic compounds, many of which are highly toxic and cancer causing. Benzene is present in both crude oil and gasoline and is known to cause terminal leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and other blood and immune system diseases within 5-15 years of exposure.

Not one media source, the government or BP has made one comment about where the plumes of dangerous gas were going or when the plumes would land again. Maybe they thought Americans would think that the dangerous gases would just go out into space and be lost forever. It doesn’t work that way. What goes up must come down – somewhere.

Much was said by experts about nuclear fall out after the April 26,1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, located in the Ukraine region of Russia. Nuclear fall out is but one form of acid rain. If you consider the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion similar to a nuclear explosion, you can visualize a comparison between the nuclear acid rain and the acid rain generated by the explosion in the Gulf.

Acid rain is rain or any other form of precipitation (snow, sleet, fog, cloud water or dew) that is caused by emissions of compounds of ammonium, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. Acid rain also releases metals such as lead, zinc, copper, chromium and aluminum into the water you drink.

Acid rain has been shown to have adverse impacts on forests, fresh waters and soils, killing insect and aquatic life-forms as well as causing damage to buildings and impacting human health.

When oil or petroleum distillates are burned, the combustion is not complete meaning that incompletely burned compounds, such as above, are left to form acid rain. Acid rain causes the following annual statistics:  550 premature deaths; 1,520 emergency room visits and 210,070 asthmatic days. Those numbers will only increase in the Gulf area after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, the use of chemical dispersants and the burning of crude oil in the ocean afterward.

Acid rain alters the pH of streams, lakes, water tables, personal wells and public tap water. In the past, acid rain has eliminated insect life and some fish species, including the brook trout in some lakes, streams and creeks in geographically sensitive areas. As acid rain flows through soils in a watershed, aluminum is released from soils into the lakes and streams located in that watershed.

All fresh water shrimp die when the pH drops below 6.0. Most fish eggs cannot hatch in water with a pH level of 5. At lower pH levels, some adult fish die leaving some acid lakes without fish. All fish die when the water goes below a pH level of 4.5. Most of the frogs and insects that live around the water will also die when the water reaches a pH of 4.5. Acid rain is an unseen disaster that cannot be measured easily nor completely. It is a disaster that keeps on giving.

Even refined oil kills fish quickly because it only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Crude oil and petroleum distillates are far worse and can cause birth defects in all forms of life.

The world was shocked to find that chemicals from Chernobyl and other industrial pollution in Russia became acid rain and traveled as far away as Canada resulting in more than 14,000 Canadian lakes becoming acidic in Eastern Canada alone. However, the winds in the Gulf blow in toward the Gulf states and heavy seasonal downpours, like this year, cause the dangerous chemicals from the explosion to touch land much closer to home than that of the Chernobyl disaster.

Whether one is more deadly than the other remains to be seen over the next twenty-five years. Yes, it will take at least twenty-five years to determine the effects of the dangerous chemicals raining down on the Gulf from the explosion. Not only do residents have to be concerned over their own exposure to cancer, but on the long term effects on their children and unborn children because of water and soil contamination.

To make matters worse, BP selected a chemical dispersant that only dispersed one-half of the oil it reached. Add to that the millions of gallons of oil that were burned and you have a recipe for a very dangerous acid rain. For example, the explosion and burning of oil and chemicals dispersants converted the chromium in the crude oil to a water soluble mixture that was then evaporated and converted into acid rain. High levels of chromium have been found in rain water since the explosion.

Sulphur is a common by-product of any explosion including a simple discharge of a gun or rifle. So it is safe to assume that the explosion and later burning of crude oil sent tons of sulphur into the atmosphere. Since no one truly knows what was in the formula of the dispersants, it is clear that there may have been higher levels of chromium and sulphur than anyone thought – if they thought about this at all.

Fine particles, a large fraction of which are formed from the same gases as acid rain (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide), have been shown to cause premature deaths and illnesses such as cancer.

I am certain that BP will say that this did not happen and there is no explanation for the chromic acid or chromium in the water. They have and will argue that it came from a different source. Noted experts at local universities already disagree. Since rain water was tested – not surface or table water– then industrial run-off, pollution and seepage from treated timber are not rational explanations. But this acid rain will increase the acidity of water run-off.

Only time will tell, but the tale will likely be a horror story for everyone in the Gulf.

By Emanuel Barling, Jr., Esq. and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N. authors of Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life and Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world. The authors’ latest book, It’s Not Your Fault! Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction will be available for the 2010 holidays.

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks will be co-hosting a show on Chemicals in Food, Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, Health and Wellness channel starting on November 2, 2010 at noon PST.

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