In 2012, we saw the first peer-reviewed studies published about the detrimental health effects of fracking. The findings are alarming. There are also a growing number of other resources on the effects of fracking.
Theo Colborn, PhD, (pictured right) a nationally-recognized endocrine researcher, studied the air pollution and chemicals in natural gas operations at a drilling site in Western Colorado. Go to The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) website where you can download her 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 greater risk for health effects from natural gas development than are residents living more than a ½ mile from wells. Click to download the public health risk assessment study.
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 Erie than in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas. Natural gas is mostly Methane (CH4) and is much more potent than CO2 as a contributor to Global Warming (25 times stronger over a century and 72 to 100 times more potent over a 20-year period.)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a preliminary study on oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities because citizens are 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 (SDWA) which is supposed to protect underground sources of drinking water. Click here to download an EPA Fact Sheet.