So really, what are we going to do when hydraulic fracturing as we know it today, destroys all the air and water? Well, we humans can wear masks, filter our water, (hopefully removing contaminants, even thought we don’t know what they are) and attempt to keep ourselves safe. But, what about our food supply? We cannot stop animals from drinking water, we can’t stop them from breathing contaminated air.
There are many instances of animal illness and death that are rightly being blamed on hydraulic fracturing.
Thirty of 200 ewes died or were euthanatized during a 21-day period following a 1-day accidental exposure to natural gas condensate, a complex mixture of hydrocarbons obtained during collection of natural gas from wells. Despite access to potable well water, the poisoned ewes willingly consumed toxic doses of condensate that contaminated surface water. Eight animals died without premonitory signs; the remainder became ill over the course of a few days to 3 weeks. The principal cause of mortality was aspiration pneumonia, but myocardial degeneration and necrosis, renal tubular damage, gastritis, enteritis, and meningeal edema and hyperemia were also observed. Gas chromatographic analysis identified chemical traces of the hydrocarbons in the tissues, and “fingerprinting,” the process of matching chromatographic tracings, provided forensic proof of the contamination source. Atomic absorption spectroscopy and cholinesterase analyses were performed to eliminate the possibility of toxicosis by heavy metal contaminants or other constituents. This appears to be the first reported incidence of natural gas condensate toxicity involving sheep or other ruminants. Although the available literature presents a suggestive pattern of clinical signs and pathologic lesions of petroleum product poisoning, diagnostic investigations should employ detailed analytic examination because each source of petroleum hydrocarbons contains unique sets of components that may produce different toxic effects.
+ Author Affiliations
- 1Departments of Veterinary Pathology (RA, JEM), Pharmacology & Toxicology (HJB), and Medicine (DAM), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA
- Dr. R. Adler, Department of Toxicology, Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., PO Box 68470, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0470 (USA).
ChefsForMarcellus.org is posting about livestock being poisoned by the effects of fracking.
Upstate cattle farmer Ken Jaffe has shared the full text of an e-mail sent by Dr. Christopher Portier, head of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). According to Jaffe, this e-mail “represents a major change in mainstream scientific thinking about public health risks of gas drilling.” For the first time, according to Jaffe, a federal official with responsibility for public health has stated openly that he can’t guarantee the safety of fracking, and that he has “data of concern” that makes him worried. READ MORE
How does fracking affect food safety? No one knows
We’ve all heard about efforts to protect New York City’s watershed from the risks of hydraulic fracturing. Now there is a new effort to protect NYC’s foodshed. Chefs for the Marcellus is a group of chefs, restaurateurs, and other food professionals dedicated to protecting the foodshed that supplies much of the produce, dairy and meat products, and beer and wine that they purchase for their establishments. Many of the farms in the New York City area are organic but, even if they aren’t, they depend on clean air, water and soil to produce their fresh food and beverages.
Yesterday I blogged about how more research is needed on the health impacts of living near, working near, or otherwise being exposed to oil and gas exploration and production operations, including fracking. This should include research on the food products that are produced near these activities. Farmers and ranchers around the country have reported various unusual health symptoms in their livestock that they believe may be linked to nearby oil and gas operations, including birth defects, stillbirths, blindness, hair loss, poisoning leading to death, low or no milk production, low fertility, smaller litters, and additional unexplained illnesses. A Pennsylvania farmer growing heirloom tomatoes and wine grapes has reported that his water tests found extremely high levels of arsenic, benzene, mercury, and other toxic contaminants after fracking occurred on his property. What is the risk if someone eats any of these food products?
NRDC believes the USDA and independent experts should be investigating the potential impacts on food safety for livestock and crops located near oil and gas extraction sites, including implications for organic certification.
Testing and more investigation should have been done before fracking was allowed to happen. It seems like everyone wants to “be green” except for “big oil” They just want more “green”.