Environmental Protection Agency approved chemical use for fracking

Written by on July 14, 2021

Environmental Protection Agency approved chemical use for fracking

By Susan Phillips /StateImpact Pennsylvania

July 14, 2021

FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, the sun shines through clouds above a shale gas drilling site in St. Mary’s, Pa. In a late gambit to win the battleground state of Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies have intensified attacks on Joe Biden over fracking, hoping to drive a wedge between the former vice president and the white, working-class voters tied to the state’s booming natural gas industry. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

A new report reveals the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or “forever chemicals” to frack oil and gas wells. 

The non-profit Physicians for Social Responsibility used public records in a report that details the use of the class of chemicals in oil and gas drilling.

Authors of the report say they did not find evidence PFAS chemicals were used in Pennsylvania wells but trade secret laws prevent complete disclosure of fracking chemicals.

PFAS includes more than 9,000 different compounds. Research shows exposure can harm reproductive health, increase cholesterol and may cause kidney and testicular cancer.

“We as human beings don’t have only one source of exposure, fracking might be one but we’re also finding that it’s everywhere so things that are water repellant are used on your outside umbrella or your hiking boots or your carpets,” says Toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

A spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute says use is limited and at very low levels.

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