Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toxicologists outline key health and environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing

Date:
May 9, 2014
Source:
Society of Toxicology
Summary:
Since the rise in the use of hydraulic fracturing of shale to produce natural gas and oil, many have debated the merits and detractions of the practice. Scientists outline how toxicological sciences can be used to determine what risks may or may not be associated with fracking.

Since the rise in the use of hydraulic fracturing of shale to produce natural gas and oil, scientists, politicians, industrialists, and others have debated the merits and detractions of the practice. In a newly published paper in Toxicological Sciences, members of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), alongside other experts, outline how toxicological sciences can be used to determine what risks may or may not be associated with hydraulic fracturing.

"Toxicology is the study of the effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on living organisms and the environment. As such, toxicologists should be at the forefront of discussions of hydraulic fracturing," says Society of Toxicology President Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD. "We can provide information on the potential toxicity of the chemical and physical agents associated with the process, individually and in combination."

In "The Role of Toxicological Science in Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Hydraulic Fracturing" Bernard D. Goldstein, et al, identify a series of potential pathways of contamination and toxicological effects associated with hydraulic fracturing that should and are being explored by researchers:

  • Water pollution: There is a potential for surface or groundwater contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluids and their constituents. The authors found that there are few confirmed cases of groundwater contamination, but that there is little research available on the chemical baselines of drinking and surface waters prior to hydraulic fracturing practices to determine contamination with toxicologically significant levels of chemicals as a result of routine hydraulic fracturing.
  • Air Pollution: The authors write, "A single hydraulic fracturing site is unlikely to produce significant increments of ozone precursors. However, there is concern that in aggregate hydraulic fracturing activities in regions with thousands of wells, and which already have ozone levels close to the allowable health-based standard, such as the Northeast, may be tipped into nonattainment of the standard." Potential contaminants that are being studied include methane gas, diesel emissions, volatile organic compounds, and benzene, among others.
  • Occupational Exposure: Workers at hydraulic fracturing sites are exposed to a series of potential hazards to their health. These potential hazards range from inhalation of gases and particulate matter to dermal exposure to these same elements. Evaluating exposure amounts, types of exposure, and lengths of exposure to various individual chemicals and the chemicals in combination is necessary to determine potential risks to hydraulic fracturing workers.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Toxicology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. D. Goldstein, B. W. Brooks, S. D. Cohen, A. E. Gates, M. E. Honeycutt, J. B. Morris, J. Orme-Zavaleta, T. M. Penning, J. Snawder. The Role of Toxicological Science in Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Hydraulic Fracturing. Toxicological Sciences, 2014; 139 (2): 271 DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu061

Cite This Page:

Society of Toxicology. "Toxicologists outline key health and environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509172545.htm>.
Society of Toxicology. (2014, May 9). Toxicologists outline key health and environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509172545.htm
Society of Toxicology. "Toxicologists outline key health and environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509172545.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) — In a forceful appeal for international cooperation on limiting carbon pollution, President Barack Obama warned world leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday that the globe's climate is changing faster than efforts to address it. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A day after over 100,000 people marched against climate change, more than 1,000 activists blocked parts of Manhattan's financial district. Over 100 people, including a person wearing a white polar bear suit, were arrested Monday night. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins