How Halliburton revealed fracking chemicals

Social, legal and health issues related to air and water toxic pollution in Australia.

How Halliburton revealed fracking chemicals

Postby HVPA_research » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:31 pm

Halliburton has a new part of their website where they are promising to disclose the composition of their "proprietary" fracking fluids. Here is a promising quote:
Halliburton pioneered fracturing technology in the mid-1940s, and has always supported and complied with state and federal requirements promoting disclosure of additives that typically comprise less than one-half of 1percent of our solutions.

Much of this information has been available to the public for quite a while – although it tends to be hard to find and even tougher to understand. This site aims to change that: by naming the additives in our fracturing solutions, listing the constituents, and explaining some of their other, more common household and industrial uses.

REALLY? So why Halliburton needed GASLAND to convince them that a disclosure of their fracking chemicals may be a good idea? Why this webpage did not appear years earlier?

But let us not be too negative. At the moment (Monday, 22 November,2010 23:57) there are only three fracking brews disclosed: Pennsylvania Water Frac Formulation, Pennsylvania Hybrid Frac Formulation and Northeast Foam Frac Formulation. They all relate to fracking in the Marcellus shale. The last formulation looks nice and light so what is in this Foam Frack? One click and here it is:


If you click on the Constituents tab in the right hand corner you can also get another table which shows individual chemical constituents of the Additives and in which cosmetic or baby products they are used. Pretty amazing - beauty care products all of them except the sand! One can wonder what was all this "secrecy" and "proprietary" argument about.

But hang on, we can also get the official Material Safety Data Sheet in PDF format. Let us select one item and see what they say. How about LGC-36 UC which stands for Liquid Gel concentrate. It's composition is Guar Gum 30 - 60%, very much the favorite of the gas industry publicists, and Naphtha, hydrotreated heavy 30 -60%. Nothing too exotic here! Anything interesting further down?
Hazard Overview: May cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. May cause headache, dizziness, and other central nervous system effects. May cause allergic respiratory reaction. May be harmful if swallowed.

Environmental Precautionary Measures: Prevent from entering sewers, waterways, or low areas.
In other words, keep it away from rivers and streams!
Principle Route of Exposure Eye or skin contact, inhalation.
Inhalation May cause respiratory irritation. May cause allergic respiratory reaction. May cause chemical pneumonia. May cause central nervous system depression including headache, dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination, slowed reaction time, slurred speech, giddiness and unconsciousness.
Skin Contact May cause skin irritation. Causes drying of the skin.
Eye Contact May cause eye irritation.

This sounds quite serious. In fact, the symptoms listed for Inhalation Exposure look pretty much like the health problems experienced by people living permanently near gas installations as recorded by the GASLAND documentary. They were forced to breath air polluted by volatile hydrocarbons escaping from the gas wells, storage tanks and compressor stations. Perhaps the toxic effects of naphtha listed here are common for most volatile hydrocarbons and similar to those experienced by petrol sniffers.

IN CONCLUSION: It is good that Halliburton, under public pressure, finally started to reveal their proprietary secret chemicals but it is too little and too late. It would be nice if they stick to the cosmetics but in the end we have only their word for it. Until there is an effective and independent supervision of the gas industry, note, supervision not self-regulation, what they reveal on a pretty website and what they actually do could be two different things. It is ridiculous to argue that all those hundreds and thousands of ordinary people whose lives and health has been impacted by the gas extraction are all lying while the gas industry smells like roses.
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