Friday, June 24, 2011

99.5% pure water can kill you

In his letter “Dismiss Fracking Myths” Eric Milito says that the hydraulic fracturing fluids are “99.5 percent water and sand” or .5% other chemicals. I suppose this is intended to persuade us that regardless of what else is in the fluid it can’t be bad because there is so little in it.

I just checked the packaging on the Amdro I bought yesterday to kill the ants climbing into my home and it says the 99.12% of the material is “inert ingredients” or .88% poison yet the instructions carefully caution the user not to get any on their skin. It also says not to let animals graze on the grass where Amdro is spread and don’t eat vegetables that may have been dusted with it.

One of the contaminants that hydraulic fracturing may let loose is benzene which is a known carcinogen and can cause leukemia among other forms of cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency has set 5 parts per billion as the maximum permissible level of benzene in drinking water. That’s approximately equal to one drop in 8,000 gallons of water or 5 drops in the neighborhood swimming pool.

I don’t know about you but I don’t find Mr. Milito’s nonchalant attitude toward contaminating our water supply all that reassuring.

1 comment:

  1. Published SA Express News 7/1/2011