5 Dangerous Side Effects of Fracking
Fracking is more dangerous than we have been led on to believe. There are many facts about the Fracking process that the Fracking Industry does not want the public to be aware of. The US government has recently confirmed that the process of Fracking can indeed warrant earthquakes, among many other harmful unwanted side effects that have been proven to harm our environment, health, and safety. Listed below are the top five harming effects caused by the Fracking process. Let alone one must remember how dangerous 'Fracking' is itself - it is a method of drilling a hole into the earth's surface, then one injects highly toxics chemicals into said hole with very high pressure which in then wastewater is injected deep within the ground.
Forty thousand gallons of chemicals are consumed within one fracturing area. Eight million gallons of water are used within every Fracking cycle. Ten thousand feet of earth are drilled into and injected with over six hundred chemicals totaling three hundred and sixty gallons that include formaldehyde, uranium, radium, benzene, methanol, hydrochloride acid, mercury, and ethylene glycol. There are only one point one million active gas wells within the United States and seventy two trillion gallons of water are required to operate the present gas wells. Three hundred thousand barrels of natural gas are produced from Fracking every day. Remember this when reading the next five most dangerous effects of Fracking.
#1 Resorting to Burning Furniture in order to Heat Your Home As stated above the process of Fracking releases many toxic chemicals which contaminate all nearby groundwater. For example, there are over one thousand cases documented for water contamination near Fracking sites. These chemicals have caused defects within the respiratory, sensory, and neurological systems of the body. One well can excrete over a million gallons of contaminated waste water. This water is known to be contaminated with radioactive by products like carcinogenic hydrocarbons, e.g. Benzene as well as radium. Also, drinking water wells near these Fracking areas are found to have seventeen times higher concentrations of methane in the water compared to a normal well. When a Fracking process is finished only about fifty percent of the fracturing fluid is taken out of the ground. Whatever is left is non biodegradable and harmful to ourselves as well as our environment.
It is recorded in Pennsylvania by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that people are beginning to burn their furniture in order to heat their homes. As we shift away from coal and move towards using natural gases we are aiming for cleaner air. But at what cost? When we use this fracturing method to produce natural gas we are releasing high amounts of toxic waste in the water with naturally occurring radioactive elements and salts. To top it off we see no clear plan in their near future on how to handle this waste excretion properly.
#2 The Fracking Process Puts Us Further Into The Drought During the Fracking process over ninety percent of the well water used will never return back to the surface. This means that the water is removed permanently from the natural water cycle. We are currently water stressed and drought afflicted - to have any water not return is bad news for many states such as Kansas, California, Utah, and Texas to name a few. As a country united we don't want to wake up one day and say oh look, by mistake we have used up all of our water. Our re direction of using our water supply within the fracturing industry not only reduces our water supply for irrigation of crops but also increases our price of water as well.
#3 The Process is Bad for Our Children The toxic water that is left after the Fracking process is finished lies out to evaporate in open air pits. This is dangerous because many volatile organic elements are released into the atmosphere from this toxic water pit. In short the elements release contaminate our air, destroy our ozone and as cause acid rain. Likewise if a child is exposed to the Fracking process itself they are at risk of inhaling diesel particles and volatile hydrocarbons including hydrogen sulfide which can contribute to an array of health issues such as headaches, asthma, anemia, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart attacks. The most shocking and harmful effects of them all are the damage these toxic chemicals can do to the immune system and reproductive system. Studies by the Occupational Health Foundation and Colorado Department of Environmental Safety have shown that mothers who live near Fracking sites show significant damage to their reproductive and immune systems. These mothers are thirty percent more likely to give birth to babies with congenital heart issues.
#4 Fracking Releases Radioactive gases Johns Hopkins University conducted a study which found that there is a thirty nine percent higher radon concentration in the air of suburban homes found near Fracking areas. The study compared over two million Radon scans taken within 1987 through 2013 preformed in over eight hundred and fifty thousand buildings and homes from each county. Radon is the number two leading cause of lung cancer through the world, smoking being the first. Radon comes from decaying uranium rock mixed with soil and water. It occurs naturally and is also invisible, order less, and tasteless moving from the ground into the air. A silent but deadly killer. Over twenty one thousand deaths in the United States are due to radon poisoning. A harsh reality is that between January 1st, 2005 and March 2nd, 2012 over ten thousand fracturing driller permits were submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with only 36 denials.
#5 Respiratory Infecting Sand Involved In the Fracking Process Along with the toxic water and chemicals produced by Fracking, the process also requires the use of a silica sand. Keep in mind this sand is produced in Iowa and Minnesota where their air quality laws are very lax. This silica sand is very harmful causing respiratory irritation, airway obstruction, poor lung function, and cough. The Environmental Working Group's research shows when exposed to frac silica sand over long periods of time one can develop lung inflammation, emphysema, silicosis, pulmonary fibrosis as well as bronchitis. Silica sand related diseases of the lungs can be fatal and it does kill hundreds of Fracking workers within the United States every year. A woman who lived near a Fracking site for over nine months developed and raspy voice and sore through which eventually turned in environmentally caused asthma. She now will not open her windows.
There are over thirty three silica sand mines with Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Over sixty thousand people live less than a mile away from these existing mines. Can you imagine the harm that will be done to America. The danger doesn't stop here, there are plans to propose many new silica sand mines in Maine, Illinois, New YORK, Michigan, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, and Tennessee. Take the precautions to protect yourself today before it is too late.