Product News and Recalls

Study Reveals Fracking May Increase Arsenic in Groundwater

Researchers have been analyzing the health and environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as a method of obtaining natural gas. A story on News Inferno reports heightened levels of arsenic found in groundwater in the Barnett Shale in Texas, an area that spans about 5,000 square miles.

With fracking, silica sand, water, and a mix of over 500 chemicals are injected through a concrete well to break up shale rock up to a mile under the surface. The broken shale releases natural gas to be captured at the surface while the toxic water theoretically remains deep within the earth.

An EPA study in 2009 also found arsenic near fracking sites in Pavillion, Wyoming, but the study was later abandoned.

About 100 samples were taken near fracking sites in the Barnett Shale and tested for heavy metals, methanols, alcohols, and other hazardous elements. Arsenic, selenium, and strontium all tested at levels exceeding the EPA limit for contaminants in safe drinking water. Arsenic levels were 18 times higher than non-fracking areas. The increase in industry activity has required disposal sites for the massive amount of wastewater.

Although the industry maintains that fracking is safe, troubling findings such as this one combined with confidential settlements suggests that that the science and oversight have not caught up with the fracking industry. You should consult a Lopez McHugh attorney if you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of nearby hydraulic fracturing activity or a contaminated water supply.