While fracking creates jobs and produces natural gas, the US government is carefully studying the negative effects of fracking. They have observed deadly by-products and the list is growing longer and fearful. There are hosts of environmental, safety and health hazards that has been identified and are carefully looked into not only by the government but also by many organizations.
Although they are still continuously debated on and not totally proven, there are worst side effects of fracking.
Negative Effects of Fracking
- Fracking produce massive amounts of toxic wastewater that includes salt and radioactive materials and there are no effective plans of handling this wastewater. Some plants discharge them into rivers that supply drinking water for many people.
- Fracking uses so much water and more than 90% of it is never returned to the surface. This permanent removal of water from its natural cycle affects the states that are under-supply, drought-afflicted or water-stressed. It reduces water supply for crop irrigation.
- Wastewater is often left in open-air pits to evaporate. This releases dangerous unpredictable organic compounds known as VOC into the atmosphere. These compounds contaminate the air, causes acid rain and affects the ground-level ozone. The contaminated air has a damaging effect on immune and reproductive systems, as well as fetal and child development. Studies will show that pregnant mothers living near fracking sites are more likely to deliver babies with congenital heart defects.
- Studies show that areas near fracking sites have 30% higher concentration of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the decay of uranium in rock soil and water. Traces of radon concentrate appear in water wells which supply drinking water. It is believed that it causes lung cancer.
- Fracking uses silica which can obstruct breathing and cause respiratory irritation, cough, and poor lung function and airway obstruction. Some residents near fracking site complain of dust clinging to their faces and on their teeth. Others complain of sore throat and raspy voice which would later on complicate to asthma.
- Many geologists believe that the fracking process can cause earthquakes. Increase of seismicity are recorded in coincidence with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells in many locations in Texas. Ohio, Arkansas and other states with fracking activities.
- Fracking produces methane which is worse that burning coal. It is not helping global warming to slow down. In fact it is increasing the risk of global warming.