Repeated fracking leaves the water and land around it DOUSED in formaldehyde, benzene and hydrochloric acid

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
By Paul Martin

by: Isabelle Z.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Although the harm caused by consistent hydraulic fracturing – or fracking, as it is casually known – to the global climate is widely known, for many people, its ill effects are striking much closer to home, as their water and land become poisoned with toxic chemicals released by this destructive process.

Fracking is a process wherein large amounts of chemical-laden water are injected into shale to release pockets of gas and oil. This water is rendered useless and is usually toxic. Incredibly, it is then often re-injected underground, where it runs the risk of leaching into drinking water sources. Not only does this water bear the toxic chemicals that were injected into it during fracking, but it also brings up naturally-occurring heavy metals, radioactive isotopes and volatile organics from thousands of feet underground.

A recently released report highlights the disturbing amount of air pollution and water contamination caused by fracking in the U.S., and examines its impact on local communities.

The paper, Fracking by the Numbers, was released by the Environment America Research & Policy Center. According to the report, at least 239 billion gallons of water have been used for fracking. This equates to three million gallons per well on average. The process created a whopping 15 billion gallons of wastewater, just in 2014. Some of the chemicals that can be leached into drinking water sources as a result of fracking include benzene, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde.

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