Jun 16, 2015

American Medical Association calls for full disclosure of chemicals used in fracking

"The American Medical Association, citing growing concerns about monitoring and tracking long-term human health impacts caused by shale gas development, is calling for the public disclosure of all chemicals" used in hydraulic fracturing, Don Hopey reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In addition to disclosing chemicals, the organization said monitoring "should focus on human exposure in well water and surface water and government agencies should share this information with physicians and the public." 

Physician Todd Sack, who authored AMA's policy, told Hopey, "Keeping the names of the chemicals secret is preposterous. It places an unreasonable burden on physicians . . . If we don't know what chemicals are being used at specific well sites, physicians and public health officials can't do their jobs." 

The industry, which says it meets all state laws, is opposed to making public all chemicals used, "citing commercial proprietary interests for keeping secret the chemicals used in fracking as biocides, friction inhibitors, anti-corrosives and acids to dissolve minerals," Hopey writes. "Most of the 25 states in the U.S. where shale gas drilling and development is occurring either don't know or don't publicly disclose all the chemicals used in fracking." (Read more