Tag Archives: Endocrine disruptor

Colorado study finds higher occurrence of contaminants near fracking sites

A researcher from the University of Missouri School of Medicine has found evidence of higher occurrence of endocrine disrupting chemicals near fracking sites when compared to presence in control areas. The study was published in the journal Endocrinology.

LATimes report on University of Missouri study finding endocrine disruptors at fracking sites

Based on the information in the abstract, the study collected samples from drilling sites, the Colorado River, and a control site in Missouri. The drilling sites had elevated levels of contaminants, and the Colorado River showed a higher level than that of the control site in Missouri. To be fair, the study does not indicate that these endocrine disrupting chemicals had been released directly into the natural system from fracking sites, but merely points to the evidence as indicating the increase in industrial activity in remote sites present a greater likelihood of contamination. The study certainly verifies the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the fracking process (something, you may recall, that Josh Fox mentions highlights in Gasland without making a qualitative link).

I want to emphasize here again: wastewater storage, treatment, and disposal are the most critical pieces that must be in place for fracking to be any kind of success.


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Gasland: what the documentary shows us, part 3

The last item that Josh Fox’s documentary reveals that I wish to highlight (there are several more that other outlets have picked up on already) is the one that is not mentioned specifically: the problem of the endocrine disruptor. His interview with Dr. Theo goes into what the effects of endocrine disruptors are, which are primarily neurological. If you have not heard of endocrine disruptors, here’s the description from our favorite source on the web for such unknowns, wikipedia. The subject is addressed by NIEHS as well.


Josh captured reports from individuals experiencing these very symptoms, and tragically filmed animals experiencing these symptoms rather strikingly. The reason I highlight this issue here is because we have no treatment for endocrine disruptors. It seems that people and animals had exposure from endocrine disruptors that traveled by air. Again, the dispersed nature of this kind of gas development poses an extra challenge for protecting environmental health, in the air, soil, and water. Admittedly, endocrine disruptors are not unique to gas exploration at all. I bring it up here as something of a public service announcement.

The one critique I have of Gasland is that he does not talk about the benefits of natural gas, and of the lease holders. I know he mentions the adds run by Chespeake and what not about this being a ‘game changer’ and of course starts the movie by describing the generous offer he received in the mail. The reason it is important to note the incentive is that there are a lot of landowners out there, a lot of farmers whose business is struggling, home owners scraping by, who have a justified reason to exercise their mineral rights: they can plain and simply use the financial boost. Second to that is the fact that our way of life here calls for this steady supply of cheap energy, and this is a resource that we can and will use. Once we acknowledge these facts, I believe we can have a better discussion about how to extract those resources responsibly to provide all stakeholders better economic stability.




GasLand (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)


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