Drilling, fracking cause concern

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Drilling, fracking cause concern

Medical workers urged to recognize exposure
Toxic chemicals in fracking fluid

FracFocus, a chemical disclosure registry, lists many of the chemicals currently being used in hydraulic fracturing operations in Colorado.
Gas and oil companies do not always disclose their specific fracking recipe, but FracFocus reports that the average “frack job” in shale gas plays in the United States is 99.2 percent water. The other .8 percent can be made up of a wide variety of substances – some of them toxic.
In 2011, a U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce report listed the 14 most common “known, probable or possible” carcinogenic substances found in hydraulic fracturing fluid between 2005 and ’09:
Diesel: Heavy oil commonly used to fuel diesel engines. Ingestion can cause loss of vision, coma, confusion, blood in stool, vomiting of blood, difficulty breathing and collapse.
Naphthalene: Found in plastics, toilet deodorizers and mothballs. Can cause abdominal pain, nausea, low urine output, low blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Formaldehyde: Found in building materials and numerous household products. Can cause burning sensation in eyes and throat, nausea, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks.
Sulfuric acid: Corrosive chemical found in car batteries, some detergents, toilet cleaners and fertilizers. Can cause burns in mouth and throat, throat swelling, speech problems and vision loss.
Thiourea: Used in photo developing, photocopying, making of synthetic resins and dye removal. Can cause collapsing, loss of vision, burns, low blood pressure and severe pain in throat and mouth.
Benzyl Chloride: A chemical intermediate used to make certain dyes. Can cause burns, irritation to eyes, nose, throat, headache, ataxia and confusion.
Nitrilotriacetic acid: Used primarily as a metal ion chelating agent and as a laundry detergent builder. Can cause irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal pain, seizures, muscle twitching, drowsiness, coma and cardiovascular collapse.
Benzene: A petroleum-based chemical found in gasoline, diesel fuel, industrial solvents, paint, lacquer and varnish. Can cause rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, nausea, vomiting and convulsions. Long-term exposure can lead to acute myelogenous leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood-forming organs.
Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate: Used as a plasticizer in PVC and other polymers, including rubber, cellulose and styrene. Long-term exposure can cause cancer and liver and reproductive problems.
Acrylamide: Widely used in the manufacture of papers, dyes and other industrial products. Can cause abdominal pain, weakness, drowsiness, seizures, tremors and cardiovascular collapse.
Acetaldehyde: Used in the production of plastics, mirrors, varnish, disinfectants and other products. Can cause low blood pressure, slowed heart rate, bronchitis and fluid in lungs.
Ethylene oxide: Used as a sterilant for health-care materials and in the manufacture of detergents, plasticizers and cosmetics. Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, weakness and seizures.
Lead: Naturally occurring metal once common in paint and gasoline. Can cause infertility, muscle and joint pain, nervous disorders in adults, anemia, muscle weakness and brain damage in children.
Propylene oxide: Used in the production of polyurethane foams. Can cause eye and respiratory irritation, skin irritation, and necrosis and mild depression of the central nervous system.
Sources: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society.

Drilling, fracking cause concern

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