Fracking wastewater causes cancer

Oil well in Northe Dakota

Fracking wastewater causes cancer

Fracking wastewater causes cancer

Fracking wastewater causes cancer, according to new research from Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. It is the first study of its kind to confirm the many suspicions that fracking wastewater could be carcinogenic.

What is fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is technology that is used to help enhance the flow of energy from wells after drilling. Water, sand, and additives are sent through deep rock formations at high pressure. After the rock is fractured, water returns to the surface as wastewater. This water needs to be treated, recycled, or disposed of.

The new study was conducted in collaboration with US and Chinese scientists, and they found that fracking wastewater causes cancer, by inducing malignant changes in the cancerous phenotype.

The fracking wastewater was injected into mice, with 5 out of the 6 developing tumors after just 3 months from time of injection.

The study concluded:

Our work has provided the first line of evidence that Marcellus Shale flow back water induces malignant cell transformation in vitro. The BEAS-2B cells exposed to flow back water up to six weeks appeared to be transformed and exhibiting altered morphology as compared to parental cells. The present work also provided Ba and Sr as hydraulic fracturing-related target pollutants in addition to the more classically- studied fracking contaminants (i.e., radioisotopes and methane) for fur- ther investigation. Research to determine whether fracking-associated pollutants can migrate to private or public drinking wells, to identify early warning indicators of exposure and effect, and to identify suitable remediation approaches are urgently needed. Descriptive and analytical epidemiological studies along with animal model studies will help to better understand the health impact associated with unconventional shale gas production.

The study showing that fracking wastewater causes cancer was published in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

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1. “Fracking Wastewater Is Cancer-Causing, New Study Confirms.”, n.d. Web. 31 May 2016.
2. “Malignant Human Cell Transformation of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Flow Back Water.” Science Direct. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, n.d. Web. 31 May 2016.
3. “What’s the Difference between Wastewater Disposal and.” What Is Fracking. N.p., 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 31 May 2016.



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