US methods of fracking poses cancer threat, report says

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The way that oil and gas fracking is practiced in the US is dangerous to public health exposing people living around wells to respiratory infections, cancer and a reduction in brain activity, David O. Carpenter, environmental health expert, told RT. Scientists have discovered dangerously high level of cancer-causing chemicals in the air around fracking wells in five different states in the US. A report revealed that levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were many times above American air pollution limits and were detected within residential areas near to fracking sites. RT spoke with David O. Carpenter, author of the study to find out how dangerous fracking is for health. David Carpenter: I don’t think fracking has to be dangerous to our health but fracking in the way it’s practiced right now in the US - at least in these five states - is extraordinary dangerous. We focused a lot in our report on two chemicals that cause cancer – benzene and formaldehyde - and their levels were sky high, much higher than it is regulated in other industries. They are both known human carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization. They should not be released in this fashion. It isn’t that the fracking per say is something that is necessarily dangerous but clearly there is a release of all of these organic chemicals, including these carcinogens, benzene is released, formaldehyde is formed. That’s just not acceptable because these are very dangerous for public health. RT: Why are they still doing it then? DC: I think it’s because they are careless. There are leaks in the system. That’s not for the benefit of the industry either because they want to capture this natural gas and sell it. One of the problems in the US is our Congress because they wanted to promote energy self-sufficiency, and has exempted oil and gas industry from most of our federal regulations. No other industry would be allowed to release benzene, formaldehyde in these concentrations. It is contrary to the Clean Air Act. Read Interview via RT Op-Edge.

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