Let’s Think About It – Fracking and You

Fracking is the process of breaking apart rock to access the natural gas and oil that is trapped within the rock. This process has led to many heated debates. I wanted to look at the issues this topic brings up and have a reasonable discussion regarding them.

The companies that produce this oil and gas are not required to publish exactly what chemicals they use to frack. Not only are they not required to disclose these chemical that they are pushing deep into the ground at a high pressure, but some of the chemicals that we have discovered they are using are known toxins. These include: benzene, toluene, xylene and ethyllbenzene. To begin with, benzene is linked to cancer and aplastic anaemia among other illnesses. http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/benzene.pdf
Toluene has been linked to problems with the brain (inability to think clearly); speech issues, and hearing loss among other illness. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=159&tid=29
Xylene has been linked to nervous system disorders. http://www.businessinsider.com/scary-chemicals-used-in-hydraulic-fracking-2012-3#btex-compounds-2
Ethylbenzene has been linked to developmental problems with infants both in utero and after birth and illnesses of the nervous system. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=66
These are just a few of the chemicals that have contaminated the drinking water around fracking sites. There are other problems with fracking one of which is the release of methane. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/epa-moves-to-count-methane-emissions-from-fracking/
This is a serious issue, as it is one of the forces driving global warming.

Related to this issue, of course, are the people who can light their water from their drains on fire. There is a video of this imbedded here http://8020vision.com/2011/04/17/congress-releases-report-on-toxic-chemicals-used-in-fracking/
I suggest that you read the article and watch the video.

Another point that I would like to make is the amount of water that is used to frack. According to http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/05/fracking-water-america-drought-oil-gas 97 billion gallons of water have been used to frack all the wells in the U.S. Three-fourths of these wells have been drilled in areas of extreme drought. This article has wonderful charts and graphs and maps that you can look at, so I’m just going to tell you to look at the article for all the detailed information. This point is extremely important when you look at where the droughts are, and where fracking has been happening.

My final point is related to fracking and earthquakes. There is now scientific evidence that fracking is indeed causing earthquakes. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/induced/
Not only that, but there is fracking going on near the San Andreas Fault http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/13/fracking-californias-san-andreas-fault/
Now, I don’t live anywhere near California, however if I did I would be very concerned.

If you would like to read more about fracking and the affect that it has on people who live near the wells, this article would be helpful reading. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/14/fracking-hell-live-next-shale-gas-well-texas-us

I’m sure that I’ve missed some points, however all the information you might need should be included in the many references I’ve given. Let me know what you think about what I’ve written.


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