Nancy Levant
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Formaldehyde: What a fascinating fracking and Ebola-mimicking water poison

Formaldehyde: What a fascinating fracking and Ebola-mimicking water poison

I love theorizing, and it’s so easy to do when offered many conspiracy possibilities from which to choose. Take, for example, recent reports of formaldehyde purposefully dumped into water wells in Liberia, which caused Ebola symptoms in water drinkers who were then “diagnosed” with the Ebola virus, and then reports that formaldehyde is commonly used in fracking, which also poisons water wells and aquifers. Hmmm. What shall we make of this?

I refer you to this:

December 3rd, 2013 by Don Lieber

“This is part of a 10-part series on the “Top 10 Toxic Ingredients Used By The Fossil Fuel Industries.” Read, share, and check in tomorrow for the next part, which will focus on pet coke.

5. Formaldehyde

 Fossil Fuel Source: Natural Gas

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen with known links to leukemia and rare nasopharyngeall cancers, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Formaldehyde is highly toxic regardless of method of intake. It is a potent allergen and genotoxin. Studies have linked spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, low birth weights, infertility, and endometriosis to formaldehyde exposure. Epidemiological studies link exposure to formaldehyde to DNA alteration. It is also contributes to ground-level ozone.

Formaldehyde is commonly used in “fracking” — although, the industry does not report the details of its use.

In 2006, the fracking industry was granted waivers from federal clean air and water regulations (known as “The Halliburton Loophole”) — since then, it has operated with few, if any, reporting requirements regarding the chemicals it uses. (The waiver was promoted by the Bush-Cheney White House; Cheney, of course, was the former CEO of Halliburton). [emphasis added]

Independent studies, however, have detected dangerous levels of formaldehyde in both wastewater and ambient air emissions from fracking operations. One researcher, with the Houston Advanced Research Center, said reading from one test site in north Texas, “astoundingly high,” and, “I’ve never heard of ambient (formaldehyde) concentrations that high… except in Brazil.”

The designation of formaldehyde as a dangerous ingredient in fossil fuel production has been vigorously contested by both the fossil fuel industry and by the members of the US Congress who receive huge funds from the industry.

In 2009, Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest fossil fuel companies, lobbied against the EPA’s proposed declaration that formaldehyde “should be treated as [a] known human carcinogen.” The largest recipients of oil and gas industry contributions in the US Congress, including Senators James Inhofe and David Vitter, also lobbied extensively against the designation.

Vitter, indeed, accepts money directly from the formaldehyde industry. According to Talking Points Memo, his election campaign received about $20,500 in 2009  from companies that produce large amounts of formaldehyde waste in Louisiana. His preferences for the people of Louisiana are clear, and they aren’t the avoidance of cancer.”

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