This amazing post was written by Jenn Ryan, a freelance writer and editor who’s passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. You can read more of her work at thegreenwritingdesk.com.
Perhaps you’ve heard of fracking, which is the nickname of the controversial practice of extracting natural gas and oil from the earth by injecting water and chemicals into rock. The pressure of the water being pumped underground along with the chemicals allows the gas and oil to easily be released. However, what happened to that water and other stuff that the fracking process leaves behind, namely the over 700 chemicals used in this process?
What happens is they can find their way into natural bodies of water and contaminate our water supplies. That we people drink. Let’s remember that water is essential to life, and that we’re also watering the plants (and animals) that supply our food with this contaminated water.
While some countries have jumped on the bandwagon (our good old U.S of A being one of them), other countries are hesitant to. It’s not proven to be safe and it hasn’t been proven to be harmful—until now, that is. Let’s take a look at how fracking water causes cancer.
It Poisons the Water. Which Then Poisons You.
What is cancer? Uncontrolled cell growth caused by a mutation in the cell genes. How does this happen? It can happen for any number to reasons, including exposure to harmful toxins. In today’s world, it’s no secret that harmful toxins can be difficult to avoid. In fact, it’s impossible for people who live in major cities and the like. There are things you can do to minimize your exposure. One of them would be to avoid drinking water that has been contaminated with chemicals used in the fracking process.
This study (http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/fracking-wastewater-cancer-causing-new-study-confirms-1) published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology confirms that the wastewater from fracking causes cancer in human cells. Now, since this study conducted animal testing, which I’m not about or endorsing here, I’ll decline to discuss it much further. What you need to know is that those poor mice were injected with fracking water and developed cancerous tumors a mere three months later.
For people whose drinking water is contaminated with these toxic chemicals, the results are suspected to be something similar. What’s even eerier is that millions of gallons of water are used during each fracking episode (properly known as hydraulic fracturing, which is where its nickname “fracking” comes from). Of this, up to 70% of it comes back as the wastewater that’s now laden with chemicals and up to 50% of that will seep into the ground, the cracked rock, and eventually, your drinking water.
Let’s Look at the Facts
Despite pro-fracking and anti-fracking, solid facts exist. I’m not the first to point out the fact that the oil and gas industries are money-driven, not safety-driven. They’re not really interested in what’s making you sick. They’re more interested in the money you spend on gas and oil every year. Let’s be honest—fracking provides a way to make fuel cheaper, which is what we’re experiencing in the United States right now. It’s awesome! Right?
Well, before you get all gung-ho about fracking, take into consideration that many of the chemicals used for that fracking water have been shown to cause cancer and other health issues. Let’s take a look at some of these chemicals, just to be nice and specific:
- Naphthalene: an “organic” substance that causes liver damage, neurological damage, cataracts, and anemia. The EPA has labeled this a “possible human carcinogen”. (http://www3.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/naphthal.html)
- Benzene: A flammable liquid that’s found in everything from plastics to drugs to cigarettes. The American Cancer Society says “benzene is known to cause cancer”. (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/benzene)
- Formaldehyde: This chemical has been proven to cause cancer and is used in mortuaries (we’re still poisoning the ground that way, right? Burying our dead after they’ve been filled with this chemical?), glues, building materials, etc. (http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet)
- Hydrogen sulfide: This poisonous gas has been known to cause cardiovascular damage, damage to the nervous system, and can cause instant death at concentrated levels. Hydrogen sulfide can be naturally occurring, especially from decaying organic matter. It has a notorious “rotten egg” smell.
These are just a few of the chemicals commonly used in fracking. Recently, these chemicals were found in drinking water at areas where fracking had occurred throughout the United States. Experts estimate that cancer rates will increase in these areas and other areas where fracking has occurred over the next ten years.
Why are these chemicals added? Supposedly to help ease the process by killing bacteria and dissolving material that’s in the way such as minerals, etc. All of these poisons are being pumped into our earth and have no where to go but back into our bodies eventually from our food supply, drinking water, and our bodies of water.
The United States has jumped on this method of providing the American people with cheaper fuel while seemingly ignoring the possibility of having greener alternatives. So instead of looking into alternative sources for energy, the U.S is doing one of the things it does best—continuing to poison our planet. Other examples of the U.S poisoning our planet include the use of:
- Glyphosate, better known as Roundup, which has been banned in countries all over the world along with GMOs. The U.S is still proudly using it.
- BHT and BPA, known carcinogens found in plastics and food in the U.S, but banned in over 150 countries around the world.
- Growth hormones rBGH and rBST, which were found to be dangerous to both people and animals, therefore prompting other countries to ban them. But if you live in the U.S, you’re still drinking them in milk and eating them in other dairy products (unless the label says otherwise).
After looking at how many cancer-causing chemicals will be seeping into our drinking water soon, it seems to me that fracking can’t be proven to be safe under any circumstances. Thanks for keeping our water clean, guys! Can’t wait to drink some formaldehyde one day.
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