Scientists have been able to identify the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs - think paint strippers and pesticides) in fracking fluids. There have also been a myriad of other chemicals I’ve come across in my studies that can be categorized under radioactive, carcinogenic, or neurotoxic that have all been found in community water supplies and fracking fluids. These chemicals are:
- Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
- Dimethyl Formaldehyde
- Glycol Ethers
In states that allow fracking, community members have experienced the following symptoms:
- loss of senses (taste and smell)
- head aches
- ears ringing
- peripheral neuropathy (Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes numbness and pain in your hands and feet. People typically describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove. Peripheral neuropathy can result from problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. Source)
- swelling and extreme pain throughout the body
- animals (domesticated and wild alike) have suffered extreme hair and weight loss, even sudden death.
Streams that have been flowing naturally for generations have now begun to bubble as if they were full of carbonation, when in reality they are full of natural gas and other chemicals. People who have lived on the land for decades are able to run their taps and light them on fire. Natural gas companies have responded by denying their fracking practices had anything to do with it, but have supplied fresh water tanks (free of charge) to some homes. But how long will that free supply of fresh water last for them? Eventually it reaches the ethical question: How much water can you replace?
Watch Gasland. Find out where fracking is going on now and where it could go on in the future (I’m really sorry that’s for the States only right now - I will expand to a more global perspective soon). Read up as much as you can. Research every aspect you can think of. Read both sides of the story. Find the nuggets of truth. Watch for the coordinating points. Hydraulic fracturing is not a viable option for solving our energy problems, nor is it an ethical economic solution for my country and for humanity.
We must make the ban on fracking worldwide.