Physicians Warn Caution on Hydrofracking
As medical practitioners, we write to bring to your attention:
Primum, no nocere
First, do no harm
The extraction of natural gas in the Marcellus and similar shales involves high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water and chemicals per well into the shale formations to allow the release of natural gas. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. While natural gas may be a cleaner fuel once it is refined for consumer use, extracting it is a process that pollutes the air with diesel fumes and volatile organic compounds and causes methane gas and other chemicals to migrate in unpredictable directions underground.
Hydraulic Fracturing takes clean water and creates billions of gallons of toxic waste fluid for which there is no treatment. In addition to the chemical additives, this flowback contains brine, heavy metals, and radioactive materials. Given the vast scale of the proposed drilling, this amounts to an unprecedented level of toxins being released into the air and water. Extensive drilling activity has already caused health problems, environmental disasters and irrevocable damage to water resources in other parts of the country.
Accumulating incidents of explosions and spills, dead fish and cattle and contaminated water make Hydraulic Fracturing an unacceptable practice at this time
The effects of this process on human health, livestock and wildlife have not been subject to rigorous research by the medical, agricultural or forestry communities. The review reported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement does not include high quality medical data and lacks any analysis of the cumulative effects of thousands of wells.
We seek colleagues from professional and consumer communities to assist us in our support and advocacy for the EPA study and a moratorium on the process of High Volume, Slick-water Hydraulic Fracturing until conclusive analysis of the health effects to humans, livestock and wildlife can be completed.
Please give your name, medical specialty, address.