Wow, this bit of news is amazing, in both a good and bad way. Just to mention one fracking contaminant, benzene is a particularly nasty carcinogen (not that this Bloomberg article mentions it, but it is the sort of thing that too often gets into water tables thanks to fracking). The fact that fracking is seen as a big enough public health risk to rally the normally apolitical medical profession (at least as far as measures ex health care reform are concerned) to call for intervention is striking.
The U.S. should declare a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in populated areas until the health effects are better understood, doctors said at a conference on the drilling process.
Gas producers should set up a foundation to finance studies on fracking and independent research is also needed, said Jerome Paulson, a pediatrician at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington…
“We’ve got to push the pause button, and maybe we’ve got to push the stop button,” said Adam Law, an endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, in an interview at a conference in Arlington, Virginia that’s the first to examine criteria for studying the process…
A moratorium on fracking pending more research “would be reasonable,” said Paulson, who heads the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment in Washington, in an interview.
A top scientist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that fluids used in hydraulic fracturing contain “potentially hazardous chemical classes.” The compounds include petroleum distillates, volatile organic compounds and glycol ethers, said Christopher Portier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.