Personal Injury

Effects of Fracking and Benzene Tracked in Documentary

Fracking hydraulic fracturing Wikimedia Commons 257x210 Effects of Fracking and Benzene Tracked in DocumentaryA 2016 documentary called “Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution is Now” examines how fracking, a horizontal method of drilling for oil that involves extremely high water pressure, is hazardous to people and the environment. According to the film’s official website, its creators hope to convince national leaders to “focus on clean energy solutions that would allow us to proceed towards a future that does not rely on yet another dirty fossil fuel extraction process.”

The documentary notes that during Obama’s eight-year presidency, fracking grew as the most the popular, and controversial, way to drill for oil on American soil. But this method of fuel extraction is potentially poisoning the American people, according to the film. About 17 million people live within a single mile of at least one oil or gas well, the Dunn County News reports.

More than 30 states throughout the U.S. are now being drilled via fracking, which is exempt from adhering to any Safe Drinking Water Act rules due to the “Halliburton Loophole” in the 2005 Federal Energy Act. According to the Dunn County News, the loophole allows the oil and gas industry to pollute on a grand national scale without consequence.

The News reports fracking companies conceal the chemical solutions used in the process, which essentially pumps extremely toxic water into the ground. Fracking-related health problems are becoming more prevalent, and doctors are unable to treat the illnesses effectively without being able to access data regarding the patients’ chemical exposure.

The documentary says fracking has wrecked rural American water and air, resulting in massive amounts of methane released, loss of property values, and decreased quality of life. The workers hired to perform the fracking are paid very little, are poorly trained, are not provided with efficient protective gear, and are exposed to the toxins at a point-blank range.

Chemicals found after fracking include arsenic, radioactive substances, benzene, and more. The force of the waste water has also been known to cause earthquakes that trembled from Ohio to Texas.

According to the American Cancer Society, benzene is heavily linked to leukemia and lymphoma, and is a contributor to Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).

The state of California, the third largest producer of oil, has experienced an increase of fracking in farming areas, where the toxic chemicals are released into water used for crop irrigation. The toxins are then absorbed into the crops, which are then consumed by humans. The fumes have made local residents sick with symptoms such as nausea, nosebleeds, headaches and respiratory issues.

The documentary, which was viewed at the Menomonie Public Library in Wisconsin last month, ends with promoting the “Clean Energy Revolution,” which states that by the year 2050, the U.S. could realistically transition into 100 percent renewable energy if the research and development were properly financed and promoted by our government.