Hydraulic Fracking or “Fracking” is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.
Fracking has been a controversial subject for quite some time now due to the hazardous chemicals injected into the earth.
Seismologists, earth scientists, have warned that performing this kind of task can cause earthquakes. Not only that, but endocrinologist have warned that some of the chemicals used are known hormone disruptors and are likely to represent health hazards if they get into well water.
About 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluids including known carcinogens and toxins, such as lead, hydrochloric acid, methanol, and formaldehyde among many others.
Fracking Poses Health Hazards
During the fracking process methane gas and toxic chemicals leak out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater wells.
Methane concentrations are 17 times higher in drinking water wells near fracking sites than in normal wells.
Over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling have been reported as well as cases of sensory, respiratory and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water.
Fracking and Environmental Damage
In 2010, the EPA estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the U.S. each year.
Extracting this much water is raising concerns about the ecological impacts to aquatic resources, as well as drying up of drinking water aquifers.
Each gas well requires an average of 400 tanker trunks to carry water and supplies to and from the site, so not only does water used for fracking deplete fresh water supplies and impact the aquatic habitat, the transportation of so much water also creates localized air quality safety and road repair issues.
Only 30-50 percent of the fracturing fluid is recovered, the rest of this toxic fluid is left in the ground and is not biodegradable.