Fracking is dangerous to our health [letter] by Stephen Olin, Lancaster Township, February 19, 2020, Lancaster Online
Anyone who’s seen “Gasland” or “Gasland Part II” (available on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon or PBS) knows about the health and environmental risks of fracking that have ruined so many Americans’ lives over the past decade.
But most people aren’t aware of fracking’s radioactive waste in nearly a trillion gallons of toxic water a year, which is contaminating communities across our country. These details were reported last month by Rolling Stone.
The industry claims the toxins in the water are low-level and harmless, but University of Pittsburgh testing showed radium levels from 3,500 to 8,500 (below 60 is considered safe). Testing from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota to the Permian Basin in Texas shows highly radioactive fracking water. The Marcellus Shale, underlying Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York, has tested the highest.
Both the air and water in fracking areas contains radium, which can cause bone cancer, and radon, a radioactive gas that’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and is linked to lymphocytic leukemia.
Fracking workers have developed cancer, sores and skin lesions, chronic headaches and nausea, numbness in fingertips and face, and “joint pain like fire.”
Radioactive fracking water is now carried on public highways, Rolling Stone noted, and stored in dumps that aren’t equipped to contain the toxicity. Deregulation means fracking can occur closer to cities, and there’s no protection for citizens.
In Pennsylvania, doctors were banned from discussing the dangers of toxic fracking exposures with patients until a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling.
Refer also to:
America’s Radioactive Secret: Oil & gas wells produce nearly a trillion gallons of toxic waste a year in America. It could be making workers sick and contaminating communities (in Canada too). “Us bringing this stuff to the surface is like letting out the devil … It is just madness.”
‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer. Dr. Sandra Steingraber: “Fracking is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Dr. Pouné Saberi: “There is a code of silence….” Workers rarely report injuries or hazards, for fear of losing their jobs.