Carcinogens and toxic chemicals used to tap gas and oil in 1

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

Carcinogens and toxic chemicals used to tap gas and oil in 1

Postby HVPA_research » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:39 am

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Sydney Morning Herald reported (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/carcinogens-and-toxic-chemicals-used-to-tap-gas-and-oil-in-13-us-states-20110417-1djrp.html?skin=text-only) on results of an American federal enquiry into hydraulic fracturing in their un-conventional gas industry. Official statistics on toxic chemicals used are pretty shocking yet our own gas industry insists that the process is safe and well regulated.

WASHINGTON: Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of litres of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 US states from 2005 to 2009, an investigation by congressional Democrats has found.

The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground.

The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the US, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.

Fracking has attracted increased scrutiny from legislators and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.
More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, or are listed as hazardous air pollutants, the report said.

Some of the ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, such as salt and citric acid.

Others were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said. Many of the ingredients were ''extremely toxic'', including benzene, a known human


''Questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing persist, which are compounded by the secrecy surrounding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids,'' said the congressional report, made public on Saturday.

The report also faulted companies for at times ''injecting fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify''.

The NSW and Queensland governments have moved to ban some of the chemicals associated with fracking, but companies are not required to release information on each individual substance used in fracking fluids.


The US inquiry into fracking, which was initiated by the House energy and commerce committee, also found that 14 of the nation's most active hydraulic fracturing companies used 3.2 billion litres of hydraulic fracturing products - not including water.

More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, or are listed as hazardous air pollutants, the report said.

Some of the ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, such as salt and citric acid.

Others were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said. Many of the ingredients were ''extremely toxic'', including benzene, a known human carcinogen, and lead.

The New York Times with Ben Cubby


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Link to this page: http://forum.huntervalleyprotectionalliance.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=311
Keywords: frack,US,toxic,chemicals,statistics,BenCubby,201104
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