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Sat Oct 5, 2013, 01:49 AM

Fracking wastewater contaminated and likely radioactive

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, extracts oil and gas from deep underground by injecting water into the ground and breaking the rocks in which the valuable hydrocarbons are trapped. But it also produces wastewater high in certain contaminants and which may be radioactive.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers found high levels of radioactivity, salts and metals in the water and sediments downstream from a fracking wastewater plant on Blacklick Creek in western Pennsylvania.

Among the most alarming findings was that downstream river sediments contain 200 times more radium than mud that's naturally present upstream of the plant, said Avner Vengosh, a co-author of the study and a professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University. Radium is a radioactive metal naturally found in many rocks; long-term exposure to large amounts of radium can cause adverse health effects and even diseases such as leukemia.

Contaminated waters
The concentrations of radium Vengosh and his team detected are higher than those found in some radioactive waste dumps, and exceed the minimum threshold the federal government uses to qualify a disposal site as a radioactive dump site, Vengosh told LiveScience. While the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility removes some of the radium from the wastewater, the metal accumulates in the sediment, at dangerously high levels, he added.


Plants that treat oil and gas wastewater are shown in red. The Josephine water treatment plant is shown in black.

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Reply Fracking wastewater contaminated and likely radioactive (Original post)
Rhiannon12866 Oct 2013 OP
xfundy Oct 2013 #1

Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2013, 02:33 AM

1. If we don't contribute to their wealth, by any means necessary,

we are seen as "part of the problem," and therefore expendable. Everything that doesn't contribute to their wealth is "part of the problem" and expendable, including the planet and generations to come. Only the unimportant will suffer due to their carelessness, so why should they care?

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