Don’t allow drilling and fracking to destroy our clean water in Lethbridge and county; 1,000+ Health Professionals Call on President Obama to Stop Fracking

Don’t allow drilling to destroy our clean water by Patti Johnsen, February 20, 2014, Lethbridge Herald
To: Alberta Energy Regulators
I am opposed to the approval of Goldenkey’s application to drill oil or gas wells within the city limits of Lethbridge and county. There is solid research that the chemicals Goldenkey will use when drilling or fracking for oil and gas will do permanent damage to the environment. These toxic chemicals will leach into the water system polluting it forever. It will make the water undrinkable for Lethbridge citizens. Clean water, drinkable water is our life line to good health. All living beings will be compromised; this includes farm and ranch stock and wildlife. Clean, drinkable water is a basic human right.

Please do not approve Goldenkey’s application to drill for oil or gas within the City of Lethbridge. [Emphasis added]

1,000+ Health Professionals Call on President Obama to Stop Fracking Press Release by Environment America Research & Policy Center, February 20, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Today, Environment America Research & Policy Center and its state affiliates delivered letters from more than 1,000 doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to President Obama and state decision-makers asserting that fracking should be stopped, given the overwhelming threats to public health. The letters come as public awareness of the health and environmental impacts of fracking is on the rise. For example, in a peer-reviewed study published last month, researchers found an increased rate of birth defects in babies born to mothers in Colorado who lived in close proximity to multiple oil and gas wells.

Fracking is making people sick—period. Families from Pennsylvania to Colorado to North Dakota are already suffering from dangerous air pollution and water contamination caused by dirty drilling,” said Courtney Abrams, clean water program director for Environment America Research & Policy Center. …

There is a growing number of documented cases of individuals suffering acute and chronic health effects while living near fracking operations—including nausea, rashes, dizziness, headaches and nose bleeds. Physicians reviewing medical records in Pennsylvania have called these illnesses “the tip of the iceberg” of fracking’s impact on health.

“Fracking harms health in many ways: releasing toxic gases, contaminating huge amounts of water, and contributing heavily to climate change. As a nation, we should develop clean renewable energy instead,” said Catherine Thomasson, MD and Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Generating electricity shouldn’t be a source of illness; power shouldn’t be poisonous.”

Fracking operations have contaminated drinking water sources from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. Leaks and spills of fracking fluid, which often contain known carcinogens (e.g. benzene) and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, have polluted rivers and streams. Fracking wastewater—often laced with heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic) and radioactive materials (e.g. radon, uranium)—has leached from hundreds of waste pits into groundwater.

Air contaminants released from fracking operations include volatile organic compounds (VOCs); some are carcinogenic, and some damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Public Health found that people living within a half-mile of gas fracking wells had a higher excess lifetime risk of developing cancer than people living farther away. …

“As a nurse, I recognize prevention is a key component to health care. That’s why research showing infants born near fracking sites have an increased risk of birth defects is cause for deep concern,” said Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM and Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. …

In the letters delivered today, the health professionals state, “the prudent and precautionary response would be to stop fracking.” …

“Fracking is a public health emergency. The Obama administration should act with all its authority to better protect communities. And given the onslaught of damage fracking has already caused, we should ban this dirty drilling practice,” concluded Abrams. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

2013 09 Slide by Larysa Dyrszka impacts that may be associated with health effects from hydraulic fracturing environmental stressors

Slide above by Larysa Dyrszka MD, September 2013

Des malformations congénitales liées à l’extraction du gaz naturel; New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado, Risks of some birth defects increased as much as 30 percent in mothers who lived near oil and gas wells

Fracking Injuries, deaths and dangers for workers and communities

What Lies Beneath: CCTV America Investigation into Hydraulic Fracturing Interviews Alberta landowners, including former oil engineer, fracing fumes damaging health

2013 10 11 CCTV What lies beneath Frac Alberta Health Services says available data has not identified elevated exposures 5

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