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Hydraulic Fracking can contaminate the Underground Water

The fundamentals of the free market is based on a planet with unlimited resources but the truth is that the resources on this planet are limited and at some point there might be a shortage of everything you can think of, including air to breath and water.  

Although there is no doubt that science and technology by themselves have been revolutionary in lives of mankind, the culture of profiteering and corporate tyranny has undermined the real science and information behind things and unlike religion or politics, real science has no ego.

One of the hot scientific topics that has worried many experts and environmentalists today is Hydraulic Fracking. First, let's find out what is hydraulic fracking.

What is Hydraulic Fracking?

Hydraulic-Fracking-can-contaminate-the-Underground-Water

The science of rock mechanics and engineering has allowed us to discover and explore the mineral resources on the planet and use them as fuel or raw materials for building tools and products.

The truth is that science and technology by themselves are somewhat innocent but the culture of profiteering and corporate expansionism has apparently justified exploiting science to mislead the public and harm the envionment, including soil and water, that is part of our food chain.

One of these technologies is Hydraulic fracking that involves drilling wells as deep as 10,000 feet underground in order to release natural gases from the bedrock via pumping gallons of high pressured water, sand and chemicals.

The supporters of hydraulic fracking believe that fracking is safe and it will help us to use more natural gas instead of the highly poluting coal. They also believe that this will help to reduce the greenhouse gases and create jobs for millions of people in the US.

On the other hand, environmentalists and activists believe that some greenhouse gases are still released into the atmosphere when the rock is fractured and releases hundreds of chemicals. Additionally, the high pressured water used under ground can end up polluting water, air and soil.

The truth is that some of the toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracking are methanol, BTEX compounds – benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene, hydrogen fluoride, formaldehyde, lead, toluene, Uranium-238, Radium-226, Naphthalene, sulfuric acid, Crystalline silica and arsenic. All of these chemicals by themselves are toxic and detrimental to our health.

Also, there are more than 680,000 fracked wells and waste injection sites across the US and there have been many reports that these chemicals have been destroying the health of livestock and people who have been living close to these sites.

In fact, based on a report by organicconsumers.org, many farmers including North Dakota ranchers, Colorado ranchers, West Virginia organic farmers and Ohio horse rescuer who live close by fracked wells have become seriously ill and their livestock have suddenly died.

Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion

Hydraulic fracking have also been linked to flammable water across the country because of high levels of methane. As crazy as it sounds, fracking can contaminate water and make it inflammable. It’s not clear that how often fracked wells leak and at the moment Federal regulators and scientists do not know exactly how many sites in the US are leaking. However, a 2009 study by Alberta scientists shows that fracked wells experience leakage as high as 60% as they age.

In conclusion, there are many leaky wells across America, considering that there are more 680,000 fracked wells and waste injection sites in the US. 

Also, more and more evidences are growing that toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing can migrate and contaminate the underground water. In fact, a 2012 study by the journal of Ground Water showed how hydraulic fracking can even open up more voids and fractures and ease the movement of toxic fluid and methane under the ground. Even a recent study by US Environmental Protection Agency in Wyoming showed that toxic chemicals due to hydraulic fracking have already contaminated their local water supplies.

The Oil Rig Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t any better

You probably remember one of the environmental disasters of BP (British Petroleum) in Gulf of Mexico which led to Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion back in 2010. The BP oil disaster expelled more than 200 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and up to today there are reports of deaths and toxicity of dolphins and sea life, including the Gulf Shrimp you may be having for dinner at a restaurant near you. Although, the authorities and BP claim that the seafood from Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat, many people still refuse to eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.

Resources:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27073.cfm

http://www.spe.org/ejournals/jsp/journalapp.jsp?pageType=Preview&jid=EDC&mid=SPE-106817-PA

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-01-10/shale-gas-how-often-do-fracked-wells-leak

 

 

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