Report Finds Evidence of Toxic “Forever Chemicals” Used in Fracking across the US

Over the past decade, fossil fuel giants have been allowed to use toxic compounds that could potentially degrade PFAS – to break down oil and gas drilling sites in the United States – toxic compounds are known as “forever chemicals,” according to internal documents from Environmental Protection Organization (EPA). The internal documents were obtained by the non-profit group Physicians for Social Responsibility under the Freedom of Information Act. Their full report, published July 12, can be found here.

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they are known to accumulate in the human body and not break down in the environment. These have been linked to a number of adverse health effects, including low birth weight, effects on the immune system, cancer, and hormonal disturbances. Despite being aware of their risks, the Obama-era EPA has approved three substances that could be used for hydraulic fracturing at PFAS, known as “framing” for 1,200 wells of oil and gas in Arakansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, 2012 and by 2020.

The report even claims that the approval of these disgusting chemicals was not fully disclosed to the public, but the EPA was well aware of their potential risks. In a record, EPA regulators wrote: “EPA is concerned that this degradation product may continue in the environment, may biomacamulate or biomagnify, and may be toxic (PBT) based on analog chemicals for humans, wild mammals and birds, PFOAs and [].”Dusty Horwitt, researcher and attorney who are currently consulting with PSR, said in a statement, “The evidence that people can be subconsciously exposed to this highly toxic chemical by handling oil and gas is disturbing.” 

“Given the horrific history of pollution associated with PFAS, the EPA and state governments need to take swift action from the public to ensure where these measures have been used and protected from their effects.” Fracking is an oil and gas extraction technique developed in the late 1940s by millions of gallons of water and other man-made chemicals explode through rocks to gain access to stored fossil energy in drilling operations.