CHEMICALS: Official urges EPA review, labeling of fracking substances

CHEMICALS: Official urges EPA review, labeling of fracking substances by Gayathri Vaidyanathan, October 24, 2012, E&E News
Certain anti-microbial chemicals used in fracking fluids need to be reviewed by U.S. EPA and specifically labeled for use in hydraulic fracturing to protect workers’ safety, a pesticide-control official says. The chemicals, called biocides, are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria inside well bores. … Because biocides control living organisms, they are similar to pesticides that control bugs or fungicides that control fungi and are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under that act, EPA’s anti-microbial division needs to review chemicals and assign guidelines for use in fracking. … The health and toxicology data for the review already exist with EPA, and it would simply be a matter of using that information to figure out guidelines for use specific to hydraulic fracturing, Comstock said. The labeling would not affect the operation of the companies in any measurable way, he added. So far EPA has only reviewed glutaraldehyde, a biocide, under FIFRA. Comstock said other anti-microbials used in fracking remain uncharacterized. [Emphasis added]

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