Here’s The New Study The Fracking Industry Doesn’t Want You To See
Though fracking industry proponents scoff at any intimation their so-called vital industry poses even scant risks to the public, a new study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology just proved those critics right — fracking wastewater causes cancer.
Using human bronchial epithelial cells, which are commonly used to measure the carcinogenesis of toxicants, researchers confirmed fracking flowback water from the Marcellus Shale caused the formation of malignancies.
After conducting further tests on live mammalian subjects, researchers found five of six mice “injected with cells transformed from well water treatments developed tumors as early as 3 months after injection,” including a tumor in one mouse that grew to over 1 cm in size in just five months. A control group did not develop any tumors for the six months of the study period.
According to the study, performed by scientists from the Department of Environmental Medicine, as well as Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmaceutical at New York University, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers, and esteemed partners from universities in China — results indicate fracking flowback water causes cancer.
Implications of the report’s findings would be difficult to overstate considering how fracking wastewater is generated, stored, and treated, and how often spills, leaks — and even the wastewater injection process, itself — can lead to contamination of the potable supply. A concise but thorough explanation of the fracking process can be found in the introduction to the report, “Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water,” which states:
Natural gas is believed to possibly be a bridge to transitioning from coal dependence. Currently natural gas fuels nearly 40% of the U.S. electricity generation, and the Marcellus Shale formation in the Appalachian Basin is on the forefront of gas-shale drilling for natural gas production in the United States. Mining natural gas is not new, but the volume has soared in recent years because the new technique of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF). The concern surrounding the environmental, public health, and social impacts of this method has increased accordingly. HVHHF is an advanced technology that injects water, sand, and other ingredients at very high pressure vertically into a well about 6000 to 10,000 feet deep. The high pressure creates fractures in the rock that extend out as far as 1000 ft away from the well. The pressure is reduced after the fractures are created, which allows water from the well to return to the surface, also known as flow back water [or flowback]. The flow back water contains complex proprietary chemical mixtures, but also naturally occurring toxins such as metals, volatile organics, and radioactive compounds that are destabilized during gas extraction. On average, 5.5 million gallons of water is used … to hydraulically fracture each shale gas well, and 30% to 70% of the volume returns as flow back water.
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