Fracking Fluid Continuing to Put Toxins In Earth

A report by Chemistry World was just published, noting that at least 10 percent of the contents in fracking fluid is toxic. Another third of all the fluid is unaccounted for, meaning we have absolutely no idea what it contains.

The report, which includes the analysis of William Stringfellow of Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, was provided by the fracking industry itself. Stringfellow used FracFocus’ voluntary registry, which includes 250 fracking chemicals, and measures them against existing toxicology information. Of those 250 chemicals, approximately 10 percent are hazardous – meaning that 25 different chemicals are being pumped into the earth that are toxic.

The real issue isn’t that these chemicals are just going into the earth – they’re also polluting the ground water. Not only is this dangerous for humans and animals to drink but it can also kill plants absorbing that water.

The fracking industry has come under fire due to a recent report outlining toxic chemicals in its fluid.

The fracking industry has come under fire due to a recent report outlining toxic chemicals in its fluid.

Hydraulic fracking works in a very simple fashion; inject fluid into the earth at a high pressure, causing the water to break up rock formations. These formations contain oil and gas inside them; these fossil fuels are extracted and stored. The fluid, however, is not simply water. The industry has been keeping the ingredients in fracking fluid a secret.

FracFocus has come under scrutiny recently due to news that it is injecting diesel fuel into the earth. Technically, this is legal as long as FracFocus has a permit. As a result of this breaking news, the media (and citizens in the surrounding areas) have placed more and more pressure on fracking organizations to reveal what exactly is inside their fracking fluid. Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, two large fracking companies, have decided to release their formulas; others are expected to follow in their footsteps.

Stringfellow said that the industry is currently trying to replace toxic the dangerous chemicals with non-toxics, then they will release their fracking fluid formulas.

Congress passed a law back in 1986 to set up the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory. This database is accessible to the public and outlines the toxics that various industries use in their practices. The EPA, however, decides which industries are required to report to the database; for some reason, it has decided that it is voluntary for the gas and oil industry to participate. There has been a push recently for oil and gas extraction companies to be required to disclose this information.

from Danny Yehia


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