In 2012, we saw the first peer-reviewed studies published about the health risks of fracking. The findings are alarming. Highlights of key studies are below. Please also visit our Resources page for videos of citizen testimony and documentaries on the dangers of fracking to public safety and our environment.
This company’s filing to the SEC is a “train wreck.” They have lost almost a billion dollars this year alone. Three quarters of their earnings are from asset sales and not from revenue from operations.
Theo Colborn, PhD, (pictured right) a nationally-recognized endocrine researcher and EPA Advisor, took weekly air samples for one year, documenting the air pollution and ozone-producing chemicals in natural gas operations at a drilling site in Western Colorado. Visit The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) website to download the peer-reviewed paper, An Exploratory Study of Air Quality near Natural Gas Operations, or see a 24-minute video with Dr. Colborn summarizing the study.
One finding to highlight: every weekly sample contained high levels of the carcinogen Benzene, a proven endocrine disruptor that severely damages the human body’s neurological, respiratory, reproductive and immune systems.
Lisa McKenzie, PhD (pictured right) and a team of researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, and the Anschutz Medical Campus published a peer-reviewed study finding that residents living less than a ½ mile from wells are at significantly greater risk of cancer and other serious health impacts from natural gas development than are residents living more than a ½ mile from wells. Click to download the public health risk assessment study.
Additional Health Impact Studies
Visit the website of Concerned Heath Professionals of NY for 20 peer-reviewed studies on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing on public safety, air and water quality. These studies demonstrate the need for comprehensive health assessment research before allowing the industrial process of fracking near homes, schools and residential areas.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
In 2012, NOAA published a study on air pollutants from fracked wells in Erie, Colorado finding a 9% methane leak from natural gas fields. The research team also found that Ethane, Butane and Propane gas levels are 10 times higher in the air in the small town of Erie than in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas. Natural gas is primarily Methane (CH4) and when it enters the atmosphere it is 25 times more potent than CO2 as a contributor to Climate Change over 100 years, and 72 to 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas over a 20-year period.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Research Study
A NCAR research study concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change. Using gas as our nation’s fuel source to generate electricity does not cut GHG emissions if the same amount of electricity were produced by burning coal. The research of NCAR senior scientist Tom Wigley indicates that if fugitive methane emissions from natural gas operations exceed 2% of the field’s production it is no better than coal. Industry reports methane leaks at between 6 to 9%.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a preliminary study on oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities. Citizens are rightfully concerned that the underground injection of toxic chemicals and diesel fuels from fracking are putting our water supply at risk. Currently fracking is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act designed to protect underground sources of drinking water. Click here to download an EPA Fracking Fact Sheet.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has reported multiple cases of thermogenic methane where methane has surfaced from fracking wells thousands of feet below the ground and contaminated ground water and well water.