Friday, April 20, 2012

Which of the Chemicals Used in the Hydraulic Fracturing Process is the Most Toxic?

Contrary to popular media there is no simple answer to this question. While the website The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TDEX) offers a comprehensive excel spreadsheet of the products, chemicals, and their health effects, it fails to mention the variety of factors that are important in determining what will make the identified chemical toxic to the public. 

Will There Be Wide Spread Health Problems?

There is a general assumption that because of the nature or the toxicity of the chemicals used in natural gas development there will be widespread health issues. To explain why this assumption is wrong, we need to first define the word "toxicity."
Toxicity is defined by the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a federal agency) as the “degree to which a substance is poisonous or can cause injury.” The key word here is “degree,” it is the reason why the answer is simple not.  The degree is the “how toxic.”

No Exposure means No Toxicity

Friday, April 6, 2012

Using Fear to Communicate Risk

Our fear for cancer has caused more suffering than cancer itself. Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring, told us that the toxic chemicals that we fear are no longer in our nightmares or at the factories over the hill but that these chemicals are now all around us- touching everything we do; the air we breathe, the water we drink and soil we plant in.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Looking at the issue of using natural gas well brine on roads

This was correspondence written in response to a discussion where a legislative body wanted to ban the spread of natural gas brine of roads.

This issue needs to be looked at objectively as with any other decision making process regarding the management of wastewater. It means looking at permit limits or standards; in this case, specifically the role of standards for human health protection. Standardized values remove emotional subjectivity from the decision making processes and rely on scientific values. As with any issues that rely on science, there have been too many decisions are being made on emotion and not facts.

Impacts to Health are the Reason that the use of brine is questioned