Imagine that. I suppose we'll have to imagine, since by law, they don't have to tell us what they're using to pollute our water supply. (I'd love to see one of these fracking company executives knock back a tall glass of water from one of these sites.) If only we had more politicians who thought our health was worth protecting -- as opposed to collecting campaign contributions from the polluters. Via a new research paper from the University of Pennsylvania MedPage:
Surface and ground water samples taken from hydraulic fracking sites in a drilling-dense area of Colorado showed higher levels of estrogenic, anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic chemical activity than reference sites with limited drilling, researchers found.
Evidence of endocrine-disrupting activity in a selected subset of chemicals used in the controversial oil and natural gas extraction process was also shown in a study published online ahead of print in the journal Endocrinology.
Fracking Spill Sites Had Twice the EDCs
Water samples from drilling sites in Garfield County, Colo. that experienced fracking spills or accidents showed moderate to high levels of the endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) activity, while samples from sites with little drilling showed very little activity, wrote Susan C. Nagel, PhD, of the University of Missouri in Columbia, and colleagues.
"We found no significant anti-androgenic activity at any of our control sites and significant anti-androgenic activity at all of the spill sites," Nagel told MedPage Today.
On average, water at fracking spill sites had double the amount of total endocrine-disrupting activity compared with control sites, she said.
Nagel characterized this association as strong, and said the study is the first to show an association between fracking and endocrine-disrupting activity.
Around 750 chemicals have been reported to be used in hydraulic fracking, including more than 100 known or suspected to be endocrine-disrupting.
Fracking Exempt From Water Protection Regulations
But the permanent underground injection of chemicals used in fracking is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been exempted from multiple federal regulatory acts, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.