• Harmful Effects Of Fracking

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    The controversial process of fracking includes drilling right through the ground below and set up small explosives to open shale rocks with natural gas and oil stocked right near the bottom of the well. Water, sand, and chemicals are then injected at high pressures to draw gas and oil more easily to the surface. When it is completed, fracturing plugs are taken out and the well is tested for results. From there the liquid pressure is minimized, and the waste water and fluids are removed for disposal, drilling occurs vertically, but more often path holes are carved horizontally to the rock layer.

    Fracturing will cause fractures in the rock formation that triggers the flow of natural gas or oil, increasing that it can get. Wells may be drilled hundreds to thousands of feet below the land surface and may include directional sections reaching thousands of feet away.

    Shale Gas Extraction

    Shale rock formations have become an important source of natural gas in the United States. Shale gas is present in many locations inside and outside the US, including areas we thought oil or gas production could not exist.

    However, what’s most important to know about fracking is what’s used to frack shale deposits to extract gas deposits. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce issued a report on April 18, 2011 titled, “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracking” [1] wherein 750 chemicals were listed. Fourteen commonly are used, and probably are carcinogenic. They included:




    Benzyl Chloride


    Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

    Ethylene Oxide


    Lead [metal/mineral]


    Nitrilotriacetic Acid

    Propylene Oxide

    Sulfuric Acid

    Thiourea [genotoxic carcinogen] [5, pg.4]

    According to that CEC report,

    Some of the components used in the hydraulic fracturing products were common and generally harmless, such as salt and citric acid. Some were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls. And some were extremely toxic, such as benzene and lead. Appendix A lists each of the 750 chemicals and other components used in hydraulic fracturing products between 2005 and 2009.

    It is always easy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of fracking, in fact you don’t need to be a rocket scientists to know them, and you see it every day. You just have to open your eyes. Are we looking ahead and see a better future? Are we thinking about our kids, the next generation who will live to suffer from the things we allowed to happen at the present time?

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