Speaker on Radioactivity Risks from Marcellus Shale, Doddridge County 1/22/20

by Duane Nichols on January 20, 2020

A rolling stone gathers no moss or frack sand ...

Radioactive Risks Posed by the Oil and Gas industry

Presentation by Justin Nobel, Science Journalist (Rolling Stone Magazine), West Union, WV, January 22, 2020

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Justin Nobel, Science Journalist writing for the Rolling Stone will hold an informational meeting regarding the radioactive risks associated with the oil and gas industry at the Doddridge County Senior Center in West Union, WV.

Justin has spent the past 20 months reporting on the issue of the radioactivity brought to the surface in oil and gas production, and the many different pathways of contamination posed to the industry’s workers, the public, communities, and the environment. Justin’s story is due out in the February issue of Rolling Stone magazine, and he is also writing a book on the topic to be published with Simon & Schuster and tentatively titled: Petroleum-238: Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret and the Grassroots Fight to Stop It.

“I have uncovered never-before-released early reports from the oil and gas industry that highlight the radioactivity problem and its risks to workers and the public, and also been led to a set of recent court cases linking oil and gas worker deaths from cancer to radioactivity on the job. What is scary is that although these workers often worked their jobs for many years, these aren’t necessarily specialized jobs, these documents reveal that everyday oil and gas work such as that of a derrickman, roughneck, or truck driver involve considerable exposure to radioactive materials and can lead to cancer.”

Justin has also spent months gaining access to present-day workers in the Marcellus and Utica, some of them have been stealthily capturing samples of the waste they haul, and have taken great risks to share their information with him. Justin’s reporting, involving hundreds of interviews with scientists, environmentalists, state regulators and industry workers, has also revealed shocking public health risks that our federal and state regulators appear to have ignored.

Radioactivity is present in a number of different types of oil and gas waste, from brine, to sludges and scales generated at the wellhead and in downstream industry equipment such as pipelines, compressor stations, natural gas processing plants, and ethane cracker plants. The disposal of this waste presents dangers at every step from being trucked along Americas highways in unmarked vehicles; handled by workers who are misinformed and left unprotected by its dangers; leaked into waterways; stored in municipal dumps that are not equipped to contain the toxicity; and even used in household commercial products that have been sold at hardware stores and still are spread on local roads.

This is important information, and it is information all should hear — We ask that concerned residents, industry workers and their families, policy makers and anyone else in the community please feel free to attend.

Please join us for this important presentation on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, at the Doddridge County Senior Center, 403 West Main Street, West Union, West Virginia.

Event Organizer: Mirijana Beram, miri_beram@yahoo.com
See also: Doddridge County Watershed Association


See also: The Hidden Risk in the Fracking Boom – Rolling Stone, 2/2/19 — Are pipeline safety regulations keeping pace with the flood of natural gas?

See also: Fracking Increases Risk of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer – Rolling Stone, 3/13/18 — The most authoritative study of its kind reveals how fracking is contaminating the air and water – and imperiling the health of millions of Americans

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane Nichols January 23, 2020 at 10:46 pm

Science journalist to talk radioactivity in area oil & gas industry

News Report by Brittany Grego, WTOV News 9, January 23, 2020

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Barnesville resident Jill Hunkler has been working with a writer from Rolling Stone Magazine.
Science Journalist Justin Nobel will be coming to Belmont County Friday, Jan. 24, to talk about a recent article he wrote on radioactivity and the oil and gas industry in the area.

“These are very serious issues, Justin has found in government documents and early industry reports that link oil and gas to radioactive exposures and also court cases that involve oil and gas industry cancer deaths have been linked to radioactivity on the job,” said Hunkler.

The event will take place this Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 PM inside Ohio University Eastern’s Shannon Hall Theatre.

Anyone is welcome to attend.



Duane Nichols January 25, 2020 at 12:04 am


Radioactivity in the oil and gas industry discussed
A journalist featured in Rolling Stone Magazine was in Belmont County Friday night giving a talk on his findings when it comes to radioactivity in the oil and gas industry and how workers are not properly protected.

In response, Mike Chadsey with the Oil and Gas Association said, “What we’re hearing tonight is not the normal bashing of oil and gas, this report goes beyond that– it’s a direct assault against our people.”

Spearheading the controversial topic was Justin Nobel, a science and environmental journalist.

He says he’s researched radioactivity within the oil and gas industry for almost two years and claims that the risks involved when dealing with these materials are quite serious.

“The industry has known for some time that they exist and workers have actually gotten sick and there have been legal cases on this issue,” said Nobel. “And exposure to radioactive materials on the job have been linked to cancers.”

Nobel has a particular concern with brine trucks which he claims carry substances of toxic salts, heavy metals and a radioactive element known as radium.

“There’s enough radium in the average Marcellous brine truck that it should appropriately be labeled with a radioactive placard–that has not happened which means a driver does not have to be informed about what they’re carrying. If it was labeled appropriately, that driver would need hazmat training.”

But Chadsey countered that argument saying, “We have been using injection wells in Ohio since the early 80s. That means we have a very well-regulated and well understood program– so not only the brine haulers but also our injection well folks have a very strict set of regulations they have to follow.”

Dan Alfaro, an oil and gas proponent, also commented, “The health and safety of its workers is a top priority for the oil and natural gas industry across the country. That’s a fact that continues to be demonstrated through in-depth trainings and procedures, the sole purpose of which is to protect the people whose work fuels the world. Nobel’s latest piece is one in a long line of biased imitations of investigative journalism that push a Keep It In the Ground narrative, while ignoring science.”


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