"Blind Rush? Shale Gas Boom Proceeds Amid Human Health Questions"

"For shale gas to meet its potential, millions of Americans will have to live with drill rigs in or near their own neighborhoods. And that opens the door to a range of potential environmental health problems: pipelines and wellheads can explode, the process produces toxic air emissions, and fracking generates liquid wastes that can contaminate surface and drinking water supplies."

"The fact that many gas companies—citing confidential business practices—won’t readily disclose their fracking chemicals has also become a public relations issue for the industry. According to an April 2011 report for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, oil and gas service companies use 750 chemicals during fracking, some of them—for instance, salt, citric acid, and coffee—fairly innocuous as far as adverse human health effects are concerned, and some not. Naphthalene, xylene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and formaldehyde, for example, each used in a number of proprietary fracking solutions, are known or suspected human carcinogens. On 17 June 2011 Texas became the first state to require that drillers publicly disclose their fracking chemicals."

Charles W. Schmidt reports for Environmental Health Perspectives August 1, 2011.

Thursday, August 11, 2011