For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Seth Gladstone – sgladstone@fwwatch.org, 917.363.6615

Health Professionals Group Addresses Alarming New Finding on Fracking and Public Health

WASHINGTON - Today the Environmental Health Network released a groundbreaking study, years in the making, that finds alarming ties between fracking operations and dangerous exposure to toxic chemicals in residents of nearby communities in Pennsylvania. In response, Sandra Steingraber, PhD, of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, issued the following statement:

“Concerned Health Professionals of New York congratulates Environmental Health News and lead reporter Kristina Marusic for the release today of a groundbreaking investigation of toxic exposures from drilling and fracking operations. This two-year, four-part investigation reveals the presence of industrial solvents and other harmful chemicals known to be linked to fracking inside the bodies of children and other family members living southwestern Pennsylvania.  

“This investigation represents the first comprehensive body burden analysis of residents living in areas targeted by fracking. As such, it fills in an important data gap and strongly suggests that the toxic emissions from fracking operations are entering the bodies of nearby residents at levels known to cause harm. Like the body burden results that documented lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan from contaminated drinking water, today’s findings show that fracking is poisoning children. We now know from today’s findings that the toxic emissions from fracking operations, which we have documented in our own Compendium of Findings, become actual human exposures. 

“And the results are truly shocking. Levels of toxic industrial solvents linked to drilling operations—including the metabolic breakdown products of ethylbenzene, styrene, and toluene—were detected in the urine of children living nearby at levels up to 91 times higher than those found in the average American. 

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“Further, cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water and indoor air were found at concentrations that exceed threshold levels for safety. This study also corroborates and extends previous research that finds connections between fracking and mental health problems.

“Consider together with the results of previous studies, the findings of this multi-part investigation serve as a powerful moral indictment of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health, which has long privileged gas industry interests over protecting the health of Pennsylvania residents. Pennsylvania’s children should not be used as laboratory rats in an uncontrolled human experiment involved toxic exposures. 

“In light of today’s revelatory investigation, Concerned Health Professionals of New York reiterates our call: The risks and harms of fracking to public health are inherent to its operation. The only method of mitigating fracking’s grave threats to public health is a rapid, comprehensive phase-out of fracking.”

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