Families Sickened by Fracking: Report

Public Radio’s Environmental News Magazine Report

In a four-part series for Public Radio Environmental Health News, Kristina Marusic tested five different families for 40 different chemicals associated with fracking and found that every person studied was carrying a massive chemical body burden.

When fracking facilities move in next door, they can completely upend rural life for many people. And there are serious health concerns associated with the chemicals used for fracking. Typically, a cocktail of generally toxic chemicals and water is injected into bedrock to create cracks through which oil and natural gas can be extracted. The chemicals each company uses are proprietary information not available to the communities where fracking occurs. But the water, air, and people can be sampled to get a sense of what chemicals are present. And in a 5-part series for Environmental Health News investigative reporter Kristina Marusic did just that. In addition to water and air testing, she took urine samples from 5 different families over the course of 9 weeks during the summer of 2019. Each of the families had at least 1 child in the home. Kristina sent the samples to the University of Missouri to analyze them and compared the chemical body burden for each of the families living near fracking with the national average. The results show very high levels for many of the 40 chemicals and chemical breakdown products they tested for including benzene, styrene, and toluene. In some of the children tested they found chemical levels more than 90 times higher than the national average, higher even than an adult smoker. Kristina started by telling me about a family that moved to the area in search of a peaceful place to raise their children…

kid fracking

Listen to the radio broadcast HERE

or read the transcript of the radio program here.


fractured personal

Watch Fractured: The Personal Cost of Fracking HERE