We’re a group of budding environmentalists looking into different environmental issues and how they affect YOU.
Bringing the Information to You
The economics, politics, health effects, and social factors of environmental issues are all intertwined. By addressing these various components, we hope that we will be able to explain why fracking and other ecological crises need immediate attention, bringing awareness to more people through our efforts. We have raised questions and come up with solutions on what steps we believe are necessary to fixing these issues.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is the process of injecting highly-pressurized liquid, or fracking fluid, into deep underground wells. This process fractures the bedrock, know as shale, releasing oil and natural gas that was previously inaccessible with conventional mining methods (Kurzgesagt, 2013)
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are substances that mimic, block, or interfere with hormones in the body's endocrine system. The endocrine system triggers responses throughout the entire body. Therefore, EDCs are particularly dangerous and can have detrimental health effects (Kassotis et al., 2015).
Communities living on the so-called fenceline reside close to fracking well sites, putting them at huge risk of exposure to fracking processes and chemicals. These harms disproportionately affect fenceline communities, as the risk of water and air contamination is much greater (Sovacool 2014).
What is fracking and why is it harmful?
Fracking is an alternate method of energy extraction that involves an invasive procedure to gather oil and natural gas. It's a relatively new industry that has grown quickly due to the economic benefits that have resulted. However, in doing so, many individuals and communities are at-risk from exposure to the chemicals used int he process. Fracking fluid usually contains over 700 chemical agents, and the process frees up harmful chemicals and organic compounds to be released into the environment. It also involves the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. These are chemicals that mimic, block, or interfere with hormones in the body's endocrine system.
Fracking does not bring immediate harm to everyone, but the individuals that live near these sites, or in "fenceline communities", are exposed to much water and air pollution. This can lead these communities to be at a greater risk and more susceptible to various illnesses.
Graphic and Text Source: Srebotnjak, T., & Rotkin-Ellman, M. (n.d.). Fracking Fumes: Air Pollution from Hydraulic Fracturing Threatens Public Health and Communities. 1-12. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/fracking-air-pollution-IB.pdf
Food for Thought
"The charge to the scientists of your generation is to be thinking critically about all of these really tightly confined ideas of a solution, and think capaciously about what two generations beyond, what the problems are going to be. I think it's in those long term visions that we will be able to not just hand on new struggles to the generations below us.
— Dr. Nicholas Shapiro —
Assistant Professor, UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics