Fracking: Implications for Human and Environmental Health
1:00 pm US Eastern Time
Speaker PowerPoint Slides
Tony Ingraffea, PhD, PE, presentation slides
Theo Colbron, PhD, presentation slides
Wes Wilson presentation slides
Shale Game, by Sandra Steingraber, Orion Magazine, May/June 2010
Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective, by Theo Colborn, Carol Kwiatkowski, Kim Schultz, Mary Bachran, In Press, International Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Sept 2010
After decades of declining US natural-gas production, a new and powerful drilling technique that fractures rock with high-pressure fluid is opening up vast shale-gas deposits in Texas, Colorado and now many parts of the Northeast. Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" injects tons of toxic chemicals into the ground in order to break up shale beds rich in natural gas. Researchers, health and environment experts, and community groups have expressed strong concerns about these chemicals contributing significantly to air and water pollution. The shale gas reserves, however, are seen by a number of companies, states and landowners as an enticing economic opportunity that could reap billions while lowering residential heating bills. The Environmental Protection Agency began public hearings last March to investigate the issue, and a number of citizen protests have recently been held in regions where fracking is already being undertaken or proposed.
This CHE Partner call featured four leading researchers in different fields of expertise who discussed the potential human and environmental health implications of fracking.
- Sandra Steingraber, PhD, is an ecologist, author, and cancer survivor. Sandra is an internationally recognized authority on the environment links to cancer and human health.
- Theo Colborn, PhD, is the President of TEDX and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She is the author of numerous scientific publications about compounds that interfere with hormones and other chemical messengers that control development in wildlife and humans.
- Tony Ingraffea, PhD, PE, researches computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics.
- Weston Wilson, Retired EPA Region 8. Employed by EPA in Denver since 1974, Wilson retired from federal civil service in January 2010. His work has included assisting Estonia, Ukraine, and the West African nation of Mali to develop their own environmental protection agencies. In this work, he stressed the importance of scientific objectivity, lack of conflicts-of-interest, and the need for independence by a nation’s environmental regulatory authority from its privately-owned and governmental industrial endeavors
The call was moderated by Elise Miller, MEd, CHE Director. The call lasted one hour and was recorded.