Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Health Implications and other Important Issues Surrounding Fracking

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The natural gas extraction process known as Fracking has been found to be the cause of many health conditions reported recently. An increase in health conditions has been reported in individuals that reside close to fracking wells. With the major conditions being skin and respiratory conditions(1).

Health Conditions.

Alongside the obvious side effects of contaminated drinking water discussed in the previous blog post. Fracking also emits air emissions which can be detrimental to our health. Some of the major health concerns surrounding fracking include any conditions linked to the exposure to toxic chemicals from fracking that cause conditions within many different parts of the body.

The chemicals used in fracking have the potential to cause long term effects to parts of the human body including;

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • other sensory organs
  • brain
  • nervous system
  • immune system
  • cardiovascular system
  • kidneys
  • respiratory system
  • gastrointestinal system
  • endocrine system

Certain percentages of chemicals affect the different parts of the body (listed above), for example, 75% of the chemicals used can affect the skin, eyes and other sensory organs. It was also found that 25% of the chemicals could cause cancer and mutations(2).

Fracking and cancer

The gas industry denies that the fracking process has any link to cancer and if you were to sue for a loved one who has developed cancer, you would be going home with no such luck. The link to cancer is found in the abundance of toxic and dangerous chemicals that are released into either the atmosphere to be breathed in or into the drinking water that everyone consumes on a daily basis(3). While of course the fracking industry will deny any such claims, is it not of vital importantance to stop the fracking process until the correct research can be made and a cancer free result has occurred?

Our Land? Not any more.

Not only does living in areas of coal seam gas mines pose great risks to our families health. It also allows the gas company to steal part of peoples land if it runs through a compatible gas area. Landowners have no ability to say ‘no’ in regards to the use of their land for gas extraction purposes. In extension to having to play host to the machinery of the fracking well, in most areas, landowners under law do not need to be notified when the gas company places an exploration title on their land(4).

Fracking…NO THANKS.

Fracking is a nasty, invasive and dangerous way to extract natural gas for conventional use. The industry poses many risk to the environment, human health and the fair use of private land. The risks are too great and there is just way too many, so we need to put a STOP on hydraulic fracturing until the gas industry can reduce and eliminate the hazards associated with it.

References

(1)/[IMAGE] Shelton, J., 2014, More health symptoms reported near ‘fracking’ natural gas extraction, Yale News, accessed [online] 8th May 2016, <http://news.yale.edu/2014/09/10/more-health-symptoms-reported-near-fracking-natural-gas-extraction&gt;

(2) Hoffman, J., 2015, Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana, Geology and Human Health, accessed [online] 6th May 2016, <http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/hydrofracking_w.html&gt;

(3) NRDC., 2016, Reduce Fracking Health Hazards, Natural Resources Defence Council, accessed [online] 8th May 2016, <https://www.nrdc.org/issues/reduce-fracking-health-hazards&gt;

(4) Clean Water Healthy Land., 2015, Landowner rights, fracking and Western Australian law, Clean Water Healthy Land, accessed [online] 8th May 2016, <http://cleanwaterhealthyland.org.au/content/landowners-rights&gt;

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One comment on “Health Implications and other Important Issues Surrounding Fracking

  1. bluebandedbee
    May 8, 2016

    ‘While of course the fracking industry will deny any such claims’ of course they do. These are big businesses with huge amounts of money involved. I didn’t realise the health risks were that abundant. It’s very concerning that fracking, like other non-renewables, can occur without that much consideration that our earth is not decided into closed-systems but is effected by this huge extractions.
    Natural gas has been referred to as a “bridge” to renewable and clean energies. But the truth is it’s just as bad. (This Changes Everything). These natural gas “fracking-based exploration and production are on the rise around the world”. The leakage of methane is as disastrous to the earth as the mining of coal is.
    Yes stop hydraulic fracturing!

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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