Toxic Chemicals in Frack Wastes are Very Dangerous

by Duane Nichols on March 9, 2017

Endocrine Disruptors Found in Frack Waste More Dangerous Than Previously Understood

Essay by Barb Daniels and April Keating, Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance

In an October 20, 2016, article, Dr Joseph Perrone, chief science officer at the Center for Accountability in Science, an organization funded by and biased toward the fossil fuel industry, states that “most studies of endocrine disruption examine chemicals in concentrations orders of magnitude higher than what average Americans would be exposed to. Literature reviews have found even ‘low dose’ evaluations employ exposure rates up to 500-fold above typical exposure levels.” 

This statement is directly opposite to valid scientific studies by respected scientists and researchers such as Vom Saals’, cited by  Dr. Theo Colburn in “Our Stolen Future” and those of other respected researchers, most of whom test at the levels of these chemicals in our bodies today. 
We have been hearing similar propaganda from industry since there was lead in paint, asbestos everywhere, and people smoked freely.
The dissemination of such falsehoods in the face of growing endocrine disuptor contamination are criminal. Every day that such misinformation causes a delay in remedial action, more people will die or be sickened by these poisons – usually without their knowledge.
However, Perrone’s crowning outrage is the following: “With universities and federal agencies under constant pressure to impress their donors, it’s not unworldly to speculate data may be ‘cherry-picked’ to fit a researcher’s hypothesis.”
Who has the most to lose if this damning position becomes widely accepted?  Those paid directly or indirectly by corporations with trillion-dollar interests in industry-favorable study outcomes do not have to compete for funds as do those whose work is legitimate, if unpopular, and must follow scientific best practices, meaning the researchers must be skilled and the research unbiased.  
The legitimate scientists reporting these dangers are competing on the basis of their unbiased, meticulous work. They have to be accurate. There is no industry safety net for them, which is why it is all the harder to get legitimate work funded – no one in industry or government wants to hear such findings.
Endocrine disruptors severely damage immune, reproductive, thyroid and nervous systems. One pre-birth exposure can continue that harm through four generations. This information is available thanks to Theo Colburn’s groundbreaking work in the field of biochemistry. One of her most well known works is Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? A Scientific Detective Story, written in 1996. We have known this for years.
These chemicals are found in pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, fire retardants, and frack waste. They are also in many plastics, cosmetics and the lining of food cans.  At concentrations as low as parts per trillion, they do their destruction mainly by blocking hormone receptors in the epigenes on each cell. Programmed by hormones, epigenes dictate healthy gene activity.

We have seen the effects of frack waste leaking into water in Fayette County, where the seepage of frack waste up from underground injection wells has created a health hazard like none heretofore known. That county’s commissioners voted 2-1 to block further injection of frack waste until an injunction on that decision was taken out by the gas industry and upheld by a federal judge last June. To this day, the water in that community is unfit for drinking, showering, or washing, and the case will most likely go to the Supreme Court.

With the building of new, extra large, high-pressure, natural gas pipelines, the demand for gas will become inflated and more fracking will ensue. Water systems everywhere will be stressed by the overuse of water from streams, aquifers and wells will be degraded, property values will plummet, and quality of life will go down for people in the 14 states and 46 rivers that get their water from West Virginia. Several in Doddridge County lost water wells recently when drilling started up again with the expectation of FERC apprival of several extra-large diameter pipelines and state approval of a gigantic waste water treatment facility planned for the region.

This destruction need not happen. There are better ways to develop our economy that will provide safe, clean jobs for local people and boost our economy in ways we’ve never seen. Green energy technologies are poised to replace fossil fuels within a decade or less, but pipelines will lock us into gas usage for 3-5 decades. The climate is already disrupted to dangerous levels; if we put more pipelines in the ground, this process will be accelerated. Between the toxification of our water and the disruption of climate cycles, food security and clean water will be a memory.

Tell your legislators at the local, state, and federal level that you do not want to become a victim of the fossil fuel industry’s attack on the public health. Let them know you are tired of being a casualty of a predatory industry. It is time we stopped socializing the costs of developing our resources while privatizing the benefits. Out of state companies have taken what we have for long enought. We must think outside the box to develop new industries that don’t harm the public health.

Tell your representatives at the local and state levels to deny any new pipeline infrastructure and instead invest in solar, wind, and geothermal development, industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and tourism. We deserve to be protected from this predatory industry.

For more information on the problem and how to make positive changes in your community, go to (See also the work of Prof. Susan Clark in Missouri.)

>>> Barb Daniels and April Pierson-Keating,
Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance
(Clean Water Through Clean Energy)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

joe perebzak March 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

I bet the energy people wouldn’t drink out of our water wells.

Joe and Neighbors in Eastern Ohio


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