Ten Things They Aren't Telling You About Fracking
The process of fracking involves over 600 toxic chemicals that are put into water and pumped into the ground to flush out the natural gas from the Earth. Then the fluid is stored in open air containers that allow the gases to evaporate into the air on a constant basis. This causes many air pollution issues for the environment. Fracking affects our drinking water, soil, and the air. The fact that fracking is being done in several states and with such a casual and often secretive approach regarding the safety and environmental issues must give one pause. Fracking is definitely NOT worth the health issues that come with this form of drilling.
Tears in the open air water containers have sludge that can cause many health issues. These are some of the dreadful agents and their effects. Waste pit emissions can contain benzine, which can cause leukemia, as well as damage to the nervous system and blood cells. For ethyl benzene, the damage can be done to the respiratory as well as nervous system. Another example of this toxic brew that can be harmful to humans is toluene. This chemical can cause kidney and brain damage and can harm a developing fetus.
Studies in Oregon have found that prolonged exposure to benzene can cause cancer. Formic acid is another toxic agent that will cause blistering of the skin, and damage to the eyes and mucus membranes. It also affects swallowing and creates severe ulcers Prolonged exposure leaves one with kidney, liver, and brain damage. Ethylene Glycol is another deadly chemical that is used in this drilling process. Kidney failure can occur within 24 to 72 hours after ingestion. Certain cranial nerves that control facial movement, eye movement and vision can also be affected. This can occur 4 to 18 hours after exposure in patients with delayed , inadequate or no treatment. Brain swelling causes an impaired level of consciousness and may cause generalized seizures, permanent brain damage, or even brain death. Accumulation of fluid in the lungs may also occur. Muscle inflammation may occur. Sodium lauryl or sodium laureth is another chemical that has dire consequences to anyone exposed to it. This is used for engine cleaner, floor cleaner and car wash soap to name a few things. This will cause damage to the eyes and liver. Potassium hydroxide, which is commonly used in soap and drain cleaner, will cause pain, severe burning, irritation, and swelling of the eyes. If ingested this chemical can cause burning, diarrhea, vomiting, and horrible stomach pain and will lead to death if you ingest enough. These are only 5 examples of the more than 600 toxins that are used in the fracking process.
Companies that place gag orders on families when they frack on their property. Range Resources, a drilling company in Pennsylvania, offered a family over 700,000 dollars to keep their mouths shut about the fracking process. The family was forced to remain quiet about fracking or face being kicked out of their own home. Other companies and law firms that are loyal to the these energy companies have even placed gag orders on local doctors in the area to hide the devastating effects of these chemicals that find their way into the water supply.
Most gas companies try to keep the information about these chemicals hidden from the public. This is done by offering politicians money for reelection or doing favors for them in the future. They also make use of gag orders to family members and local physicians. The final insult is by Chevron, whose idea of compensation to the townspeople after an explosion that burned for five days was to offer the town residents a free pizza and a two liter bottle of soda. These actual hand written gift certificates were given to the people who lived in Bobtown, the site of the accident.
Earthquakes caused by fracking. In the state of Oklahoma alone, several earthquakes have been linked to the drilling process. Studies from Cornell and Oklahoma Universities have located the quakes' epicenters within 20 miles of fracking sites. Many disruptions of the earth's core have been a magnitude of 3.0 to 5 over a five year period.
Other States that have been affected by earthquakes are as follows: Arkansas, Ohio, Mississippi, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia New York, Georgia and Tennessee. All of these quakes can be attributed to the effects of fracking. The frightening reality is that until people actually become concerned enough to take a stand against the dangerous and harmful drilling process that is fracking, we are likely to see earthquakes and even more severe consequences occur within the next several years.
Gas explosions and fires have given the energy companies that engage in fracking the right to order people out of their homes, often with no recourse for the homeowner. In some cases, deaths have occurred due to these explosions and fires.
Fracking causes air pollution from multiple sources. Many toxic chemicals can be released such as sulfuric and nitrous oxides. All of these air pollutants will cause serious health complications. Pumps, venting, and gas flares propel these toxins into the air, and many places are in danger of developing an air quality that is akin to that of Los Angeles or even Hong Kong.
The simple fact that an average of thirty to fifty percent of all chemicals are unrecoverable. Left in our drinking water system, air and ground pollution cause the greatest concerns when it comes to fracking. It is both sad and angering that gas companies try to compensate the public with lies, gag orders, and free pizza so they can make a quick buck no matter how much it damages the locals or the environment. As many as 17 states have already seen the dangerous effects of fracking. This is still a new process, and fracking is bound to become even more popular in other areas of the US. Already, South Carolina has been lobbied to close the books on questions regarding the methods and consequences of the fracking process.