When you have lived in the same place for 20 years and all of sudden your hair turns orange after you wash it, you might be more than a little concerned.
But, of course, don’t blame the natural gas company that is pumping thousands of gallons of toxic sludge into the ground just up the street. That can’t possibly have anything to do with your hair turning orange or the chemically smelling sediment floating around in your water glass.
After all, the natural gas industry, in a process called hydraulic fracturing (also called “fracking”), says that 99-percent of the sludge they use is just water and sand.
The 1 percent that isn’t water and sand is chemicals like formamide, a “reproductive toxicant” that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says targets organs like the “eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, [and] reproductive system.”
Also in the 1 percent is something called Glutaraldehyde, a “developmental toxicant, immunotoxicant, reproductive toxicant, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant.”
Now when you consider that the average fracking operation uses more than a million gallons of fluid, that means this teeny tiny 1 percent of toxins is a whopping 10,000 gallons.