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South African scientists warns of health risks associated with fracking drilling sites

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

A scientist in South Africa has warned that the growth of the hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—industry in that country could pose a risk of silicosis, tuberculosis, and cancer to workers, as well as residents in surrounding communities. Professor Bob Mash of Stellenbosch University said in an article published in the SA Medical Journal people living as far as 200 kilometers (124 miles) from fracking operations may be at risk of illness from exposure to the airborne silica produced by these sites. (more…)

Petroleum groups criticize proposed OSHA regulations on silica exposure for fracking workers

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Two industry groups have criticized a proposed federal regulation to limit silica exposure among oil and natural gas workers, saying that the proposed limits would harm the fracking industry. The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) issued a joint statement about the proposed safety rules in preparation for a hearing with about 80 organizations and industry groups that will take place in Washington, D.C. through April 4. (more…)

Study calls for new silica safety measures to lower silicosis, lung cancer risks

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

More action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of illnesses and deaths caused by workplace exposure to silica dust, according to a new study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Millions of Americans are at risk of developing silicosis or other illnesses caused by silica because they are exposed to the harmful dust on the job. (more…)

Study warns of high levels of silica sand at fracking oil and natural gas drilling sites

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

A study published in July by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) has found that workers at hydraulic fracturing sites across the country are at risk of silicosis and other illnesses due to exposure to airborne silica sand. The JOEH study was based on research conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which was published last year. (more…)

Local organization files lawsuit to stop Wisconsin silica fracking sand mine

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

A county organization in Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit to stop a proposed fracking sand mine from being built in the state. The lawsuit, filed by the Crawford County Stewardship Project, alleges that a conflict of interest exists in the way plans for the mine were approved. The lawsuit further claims members of the Bridgeport city planning commission that approved plans for the mine have relatives who work for the mine’s operator, the Pattison Sand Company. (more…)

Silica sand mining grows with fracking boom despite health risks of airborne exposure

Monday, July 15th, 2013

The widespread use of fracking—short for “hydraulic fracturing”— by oil and natural gas drilling companies has given rise to a boom in the mining of silica sand. But despite the spread of silica mining operations in the U.S., experts have raised concerns about the effect that these mines have on local communities and the health of residents and workers who are exposed to hazardous airborne silica sand. (more…)

Chevron CEO admits ‘legitimate concerns’ exist about health effects of fracking drilling

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The CEO of oil and natural gas giant Chevron said in a speech that there are “legitimate concerns” about the safety of the drilling process known as fracking. CEO John Watson’s comments came at an event held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies this week in Washington, DC. (more…)

Fracking settlements have kept health risks of drilling hidden from the public

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Several drilling companies who have used fracking to drill for oil or natural gas deposits have reached confidential settlements with residents who had filed lawsuits against the company. These settlements have allowed drillers to avoid making admissions of wrongdoing while limiting bad publicity about the potentially negative health effects of living near a fracking site. (more…)

California weighs fracking ban due to environmental concerns

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The California state legislature has proposed a ban on fracking until the state can fully study the health and environmental effects of the controversial drilling practice. The new bill was approved this week by the California Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee and will now head to the full Legislature for a vote, where it is expected to pass. (more…)

Hollywood explores fracking controversy in new Matt Damon film

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

A new film starring Matt Damon examines the environmental issues surrounding the debate on fracking and the effect that drilling has on the towns where fracking takes place. Co-starring Frances McDormand and The Office’s John Krasinski and directed by Gus van Sant, Promised Land arrives in stores on DVD and Blu-Ray this week. (more…)